Marlee Matlin. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Marlee Matlin. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, said Friday she will use her vote to respond to a report that Donald Trump referred to her as “retarded” – a word that is “abhorrent” – when she appeared as a contestant on Trump’s reality show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Citing unnamed crew members from the show, The Daily Beast reported that Trump regularly made disrespectful comments about Matlin while she was on the show, sometimes behind her back and sometimes in front of her.

The remarks all had the tenor of suggesting she was mentally disabled, The Daily Beast reported.

According to the report, Trump would regularly scribble notes on pieces of paper during the “boardroom” scenes of the show, and on one of them he wrote, “Marlee, is she retarded?”

Matlin issued a statement Friday saying the word “retarded” is “abhorrent and should never be used.”

“I am deaf. There are millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing people like me in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable,” she said.

“So what’s my response? It’s not about insults or taking each other down. As a person who is deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard — and vote.”

Matlin, a previously professed supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton, won an Academy Award for her work in the 1986 film “Children of a Lesser God.”

— City News Service

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