Maybe we should all be thanking Tom Hardy for helping normalize watching everything with the subtitles on.
According to a new survey from Preply, Americans have a harder time understanding the English star of Venom and Mad Max: Fury Road than any other celebrity. Hardy’s habit of unintelligibility has long been a well-documented phenomenon. As The Wrap points out, Vulture even produced a highlight reel of his best grunts, grumbles, and garbles entitled “Tom Hardy Needs To Learn How To Enunciate.”
The TV show that Americans find toughest for aural apprehension is the Cillian Murphy-starring BBC gang drama Peaky Blinders, several seasons of which also feature Hardy. The rest of the top five comprises other shows whose stars mostly hail from across the pond: Derry Girls, Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Downton Abbey.
But some hearing folks’ penchant for subtitles isn’t limited to programs whose actors have thick accents or aren’t speaking English. Half of the 1200 survey participants said they use subtitles “most of the time.” In general, the younger you are, the more likely you are to turn on closed captions: 70 percent of Gen Z respondents use them most of the time, compared to 53 percent of Millennials, 38 percent of Gen Xers, and 35 percent of Baby Boomers.
When it comes to why people use subtitles, 72 percent cited muddled audio and 61 percent mentioned actors’ accents. A couple other popular responses reveal a lot about how we consume content these days. Some people, for example, appreciate subtitles when they’re “watching quietly at home.” Maybe they don’t want to bother their housemates by cranking up the volume on a solo Stranger Things binge-watch. Other people reported that captions help them stay focused on their screen—and presumably off their phones.
Discover more takeaways from Preply’s poll here.
[h/t The Wrap]