A television station in Bucharest has found itself in hot water with the deaf community after accidentally hiring a Sign Painter instead of a Sign Language specialist for a children’s program. Oleg Vonk was hired to sign on ‘Puppy Flower’ a popular kids show. The regular sign language presenter was on sick leave so Vonk was brought in at short notice.
“We should have twigged when we saw the pot of black paint and the large pieces of card but I guess we weren’t paying attention,” said Rene Kowalski, the show’s producer.
What followed can only be described as a comic version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ video where Mr Vonk tried desperately to keep up with the adventures of Flower Puppy by writing signs as fast as he could and holding them up. Needless to say, despite his best efforts, this was less than effective, fraught with errors and infuriating to all the deaf viewers.
Mr Vonk was promptly fired but is now seeking damages on the basis that he was only doing his job the same way he always has.
“You’d think the producer of a program aimed at deaf children, would have listened more carefully when I explained my concerns about the show!” He grumbled.