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An ASL Interpreter Performing "WAP" Has Gone Viral On TikTok

The concertgoer who shot the viral TikTok hopes viewers will take this as an opportunity to learn about sign language and the culture around it.

Posted on August 4, 2021, at 3:31 p.m. ET

A video that a 20-year-old concertgoer captured of an American Sign Language interpreter at Megan Thee Stallion's recent Lollapalooza concert has made millions aware of the skill that goes into interpreting a show like Megan's.

People are amazed by ASL interpreter Kelly Kurdi's performance, which went viral on TikTok after Guilherme Vital Senise da Silva posted a video of it on his account. He told BuzzFeed News he's glad the video could provide visibility for ASL in a fun way.

"I decided to record her because I am really a fan of music interpreters," said da Silva. "I've [taken] some Brazilian Sign Language classes before, so I was trying to see how she was going to sign every song of that concert."

Da Silva filmed every second of the performances by Megan and Kurdi at the music festival over the weekend. However, he decided to share one particular clip because, as the viral gods would have it, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly also happened to walk by as he filmed. His video has now been viewed over 10.6 million times.

While Kurdi did not immediately get back to BuzzFeed News, da Silva said he's been in touch with her and that she's well aware of the attention.

On her own Instagram, Kurdi acknowledged her new fans and encouraged them to check out other influencers who post for and about the Deaf community online.

"Do your part to make the world more accessible and caption your content!" she wrote. "Provide ASL interpreters whenever possible. Support Deaf creators. And if you're still wondering why deaf and hard of hearing people go to concerts follow these pages and learn something new."

Kurdi then recommended several creators on Instagram, including @freelove19xx, @_jtay_,@deafinitelydope, @redmenace11, and @slntwrlddd.

Da Silva said he's glad his video has reached and entertained so many, but he was struck by comments from people who didn't seem to understand ASL. On Tuesday, he noticed his viral video was even momentarily taken down for "nudity content." When reached, a TikTok spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the app has since restored the video but would not comment on why it was flagged.

As the video makes its way to other platforms and a wider audience, da Silva said he hopes viewers take this as an opportunity to learn about sign language and the culture around it.

@AlexaLisitza I wish hearing people got this excited about sign language because of their solidarity with Deaf people, and not because they think an interpreter is hot or funny, or think sign language is just additional etertainment for them.

Twitter: @hayxsmith

Da Silva said he told Kurdi that he hopes they can work together to teach the public about the Deaf community, saying he wants to use the video to bring "awareness to the cause."

"She's down for it," he said.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.