The broadcast of Bad Bunny's latest performance has drummed up some controversy.
On Sunday, the global superstar opened up the 2023 Grammys with an electrifying medley of “El Apagón” and “Después de la Playa," which brought a little bit of his native Puerto Rico to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena. Featuring a live band and a troupe of traditional dancers, every other shot made BB's performance look like an absolute blast for the in-person audience, with everyone from Taylor Swift to Jack Harlow dancing along. But unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for fans who were watching from home, at least according to a number of Twitter users who called out CBS for one big misstep.
While the network was able to provide closed captioning for every other performer during the live broadcast, many pointed out that Bad Bunny's lyrics were reduced to a caption that read “[SINGING IN NON-ENGLISH]." And just to make things even worse, the same thing happened to the chart-topper when he snagged "Best Música Urbana Album" for his latest record, Un Verano Sin Ti, with the Spanish part of his bilingual acceptance speech being unceremoniously transcribed as "[SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH]."
As a result, fans began to accuse CBS of being disrespectful, ill-prepared and just plain "racist," with one person wondering why the Grammys would bring Bad Bunny on-stage and not even bother "getting a bilingual CC transcriber," prior to another saying that the closed captioning was "ignorant" and "insulting," especially "in a country with millions of Spanish speakers." And as a third wrote, "Bad Bunny wins a Grammy, and when he speaks some Spanish during his acceptance speech the best you can do in the close captioning is to type 'NON-ENGLISH' ?!?!?"
"Just a little racist," they added. "Do better. Be prepared with a multilingual captionist."
As a Puerto Rican, Latina and Spanish speaker, putting "[SINGING IN NON-ENGLISH]" while Bad Bunny (one of the most popular artists in the world) sings in Spanish in a country with millions of Spanish speakers, is IGNORANT and INSULTING. Do better CBS. #Grammys2023pic.twitter.com/kPanAYlymt
WTF @RecordingAcad@CBSTweet@Trevornoah Bad Bunny wins a Grammy, and when he speaks some Spanish during his acceptance speech the best you can do in the close captioning is to type “NON-ENGLISH” ?!?!? Just a little racist. Do better. Be prepared with a multilingual captionist. pic.twitter.com/J27xkTpABx
But even though the issue's been fixed, sources speaking to Deadlinesaid the network was already planning on adding Spanish language closed captioning for both the West Coast rebroadcast and Paramount+ replays of the performance. That said, Bad Bunny has yet to comment on the closed captioning fiasco. In the meantime, you can see Deadline's translation of his acceptance speech here.