CBS CEO George Gall takes “full responsibility” for closed captioning snafu involving bad bunny at Grammys

One of the viewers who wasn’t too happy with Bad Bunny’s performance at Sunday’s Grammys, who captioned it “No English Sing,” was U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Long Beach), who apparently reached out to CBS President and CEO George Cheeks seeking an explanation for the mistake.

Viewers griped on social media that the closed captions did not translate what the artiste was singing or saying All they saw was three words of non-English speaking, so people who didn’t speak Spanish couldn’t understand what Bad Bunny sang or what he said when he won the Grammy in the Best Musica Urbana Album category.

In response to the backlash, CBS added Spanish-language closed captions to replays of Bad Bunny’s Grammy performance. Gal, meanwhile, responded to an inquiry by Garcia. The letter is below.

Dear Representative Garcia:

Thanks for your letter and sharing your feedback about the Grammy Awards.

The Grammys is our biggest live entertainment event of the year and an evening that showcases a wide range of different artists and voices. We’re proud to open the broadcast with an electrifying Spanish-language performance by Grammy-winning artist Bad Bunny to a national and global audience.

Unfortunately, errors were made in the close captioning of his performance and subsequent acceptance speech. We worked with a closed captioning vendor that did not perform to a standard that we should be held to. In any case, we should have monitored the situation more closely. A bilingual (English and Spanish-language) real-time live caption should have been used and the words used on the screen were sensitive to many. I take full responsibility for what happened.

As you acknowledged in your letter, our closed captioning team worked quickly to resolve the issue that night, updating the captions for the West Coast encore and later for on-demand playback on our streaming platform. Our teams are now re-examining the closed captioning process for all live entertainment events on the network to ensure we correctly caption Spanish-language content. We will keep you updated on our efforts in this regard.

Please be assured that diversity in our programming and an inclusive experience for our audiences will continue to be top priorities for CBS.

George Gal

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