Nyle DiMarco won't stand for Dane Cook's offensive humor

By Jodi Guglielmi
November 15, 2018 11:51 AM
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty; Michael Kovac/Getty

Nyle DiMarco won’t stand for Dane Cook‘s offensive humor.

DiMarco , 26, called out Cook, 46, after the comedian made an insensitive joke about the deaf community. In a since-deleted tweet, Cook wrote, “When a deaf person wakes up late for work do they loudly sign ‘F— MEEEEE’ to themselves as they hastily get ready?”

The America’s Next Top Model winner and Dancing with the Stars champion quickly responded to the tweet, referencing Ariana Grande‘s new song: “Thank u, next.”

DiMarco followed up his response with an additional clap-back, mocking Cook’s original tweet.

“WhEn A dEaF pErSoN wAKeS uP lAtE fOr wOrK dO tHeY lOuDy sIgN ‘F— MEEEE” tO tHeMsElVeS aS tHeY hAsTiLy gEt ReAdY? 0_o,” he wrote.

“I forgot L in loudly but that’s because Dane took the L,” he added.

Cook did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Born in New Jersey and raised in Frederick, Maryland, by his single mom, DiMarco is just one of more than 25 deaf people in his family.

His twin brother, his older brother, his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are all deaf, too.

“Growing up, I was always involved in the Deaf community,” DiMarco told PEOPLE, adding that he socialized with hearing children while playing sports at the park and riding bikes around the neighborhood but attended a school for the deaf for most of his elementary, middle and high school years.

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“If I’d been born into a hearing family and went to a public school, I would have probably felt much more isolated, and being deaf would have become my identity,” he said. “Since I knew my deaf identity since birth, it wasn’t hard for me to be comfortable, confident and independent in a hearing world.”

DiMarco makes a point to use his fame to make sure deaf youth experience that same sense of independence.

“I started to realize that there are a lot of people who are unaware of Deaf culture, and I’ve been given a great platform to reframe the Deaf community. I want to use my celebrity for good,” he explained.