Heather Mewshaw was a freelance contractor for the White House as an American Sign Language (ASL) translator. Since Time magazine ousted Mewshaw of having alleged “ties to the far right,” Mewshaw hasn’t been contacted since. She was replaced days after Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, said every press briefing moving forward would include an ASL interpreter.
The “ties to the far-right” hit piece written about her made references to Mewshaw translating speeches for conservative social media groups. She was seen translating for the “Hands of Liberty” Facebook page, which was formerly known as “Right Side ASL” (which she managed) before Facebook deleted it.
One of the “controversial” videos she was seen translating was Rudy Giuliani’s “What Really Happened On January 6th?”
She was also seen in a video titled “Thank You President Trump from the Right Side ASL Team!” while wearing a “Keep America Great” hat on President Biden’s inauguration.
The New York Post wrote that Mewshaw admitted to them she was a Trump supporter and felt as though she was canceled for her beliefs.
They also wrote,
“Mewshaw said she doesn’t necessarily agree with everything she translates, but does the volunteer work in response to requests from people who want to see speeches by Republican politicians and other conservative figures translated into ASL.”https://nypost.com/2021/02/07/ex-white-house-interpreter-canceled-for-supporting-trump/
On February 5, Mewshaw released a video on YouTube titled “Official Statement from Heather Mewshaw.” In the video, she spoke about how her critics made broad and detrimental statements about her online.
Mewshaw went on to say, “The message being conveyed is that ASL interpreters must have a certain set of beliefs or values that align completely with the consumers. We must remember that an ASL interpreter is relaying the message of another person and not their own. ASL interpreters are to be respected as objective professionals irrespective of their own belief systems.”
“There are examples of a double standard when it comes to ASL interpreters who openly identify as Liberal Activists working at events for conservative figureheads or politicians. These ASL interpreters are lauded by the media and their peers for having the ability to be objective and impartial,” she continued.