Donald Trump has outraged the nation by imitating a disabled New York Times reporter, behaving inappropriately toward women, and verbally abusing people "for entertainment." During award-winning actress Marlee Matlin's stint on "Celebrity Apprentice," Matlin may have endured the worst combination of Trump's bad taste and cruelty.
Matlin is a deaf actress known for her Academy-Award-winning performance in "Children of a Lesser God" in 1986. Matlin is the first and only deaf actress to win the prestigious award, but this achievement did not shield her from the offensive behavior we have come to expect from Trump. According to "Apprentice" insiders, who remained anonymous, the GOP Presidential candidate routinely mocked the actress, allegedly writing on a set blotter, "Marlee, is she retarded??"
According to one source, the candidate would also imitate Matlin’s voice and seemed to equate deafness with mental disability, speaking to her as though she did not understand him. Trump's offensive behavior was so frequent and so obvious that Matlin allegedly had to stand up for herself during a filming session at the boardroom table. According to former contestant Richard Hatch, Matlin and the other women on "Celebrity Apprentice" were also subjected to their fair share of inappropriate 'flirting' from the TV personality.
Matlin took to Twitter to respond to Trump's comments, saying that the term 'retarded' is "abhorrent and should never be used."
My response to recent media reports - Marlee. pic.twitter.com/Mkrbh47dUO— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) October 14, 2016
All things considered, these reports beg the question of Trump's legitimacy as a presidential candidate. How can a man who mocks and imitates people with disabilities be expected to serve American communities? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 53 million Americans live with a disability; that's one out of five Americans. As Matlin writes, "I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me."
With so many different allegations coming to light, Trump's chances of becoming the next president appear blessedly slim. Whether or not "Apprentice" suffers a loss in viewership remains to be seen.
Banner image credit: Twitter, @blicqer