Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:40 pm

I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but I’m inclined to think that the decision to pull Gone with the Wind was more of a marketing stunt than anything else. Digital sales for the movie went up through the roof after it was pulled from HBO Max, and I certainly don’t recall there having been much of any outrage against the movie being on the service in the first place.

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:48 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:40 pm
I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but I’m inclined to think that the decision to pull Gone with the Wind was more of a marketing stunt than anything else. Digital sales for the movie went up through the roof after it was pulled from HBO Max, and I certainly don’t recall there having been much of any outrage against the movie being on the service in the first place.
Without having been in the HBO offices, I can't say for sure. They undoubtedly got some marketing benefit from it, but I think controversy in general does that, whether its intended or not. Michael Jackson's music was taken off a lot of radio stations after his most recent pedophile accusations, but the actual sales of it went up. Same thing with R. Kelly. Controversey brings something to the forefront of our minds, and its not just limited to the negative accusations, but also to whatever good memories we may have associated with it.

Personally, I think that, while there may not have been much outrage about Gone With The Wind being on the service, that was before more recent events with the BLM movement, which is causing us to do a lot of reflection on stuff that we previously weren't doing much reflection on.
Last edited by TheBlackPaladin on Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Ringworm128 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 pm

The problem with the "It takes away roles" argument is that it implies minorities are only able to voice characters that represent how they are in real life.

And most shows that have white characters voicing people of color usually have tiny voice casts anyway. Commander Black was voiced by Chris Sabat because everyone was voiced by Chris Sabat.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by jjgp1112 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:10 pm

Ringworm128 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 pm
The problem with the "It takes away roles" argument is that it implies minorities are only able to voice characters that represent how they are in real life.
You are missing the forest for the trees here. Minority actors have trouble finding roles, period - and casting white characters to play someone of color makes it even doubly worse. Even the roles that 100% align with a black person are being taken by a white person, oftentimes doing a caricature of how that ethnic group generally talks.

Like it's hard enough for a nigga to get a job here but now a nigga can't even play a nigga, neither?

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by WittyUsername » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:50 pm

I know I’ve been asking a bunch of questions in this thread, but I have one last one. What about playing a character with a mental illness?

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:03 am

WittyUsername wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:50 pm
I know I’ve been asking a bunch of questions in this thread, but I have one last one. What about playing a character with a mental illness?
As far as I'm concerned, that falls under "anyone who can act the part" territory. Especially since some mental disorders render some people unable to act.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 am

JulieYBM wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:32 pm
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:23 pm
Does representation really matter when it comes to voice actors for animated shows? It's not like you ever see the people behind the voices.
Yes. Representation leads to inspiration. Positive media images re-enforce self-confidence. This applies to all minorities.

If I have to see one more cis man playing a trans woman and talking about their experiences or accepting accolades I am going to scream.
But you're not seeing them. That's the point. You'll only know anything about the race or gender of the person who does voiceovers if you go out of your way to look it up.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 am

I think the role should go to whomever voices the character best, and fits the role. I saw Mike's post about that being a utopian idea where racism doesn't exist anymore, but it is the best way to be fair. Let anyone audition and pick fairly. That shouldn't be difficult to do, and it isn't my fault that it isn't done.

As others have mentioned, is anime/Dragon Ball really the best thing to apply this to? Most characters are aliens, some are animals that talk, and then we have the only real "West" character of Bulma. I feel like that, combined with the fact that this is a dub to begin with, means Dragon Ball isn't the best show to promote this stuff. A random anime taking place in Japan would be better, but even then since this is a dub you would sort of expect to not have every character voiced by an Asian voice actor who lives in CA (or TX).
VegettoEX wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:20 am
Oh hey, remember when Vermoud/Belmod got a bunch of feedback for sounding "too black" in FUNimation's English dub? Can't fucking win, I suppose, right?
I don't remember that. I do remember Vermoud sounding like he was suddenly some country man/cowboy, which was my chief complaint. The only people who, in my experience, have said it's about race are people who inject it where it doesn't belong. I don't care the skin color of who does the voice acting. But Vermoud, a clown in a Japanese cartoon, who lives in a different world than normal humans, should not sound like a Western cowboy. That's my interpretation of his voice, and I disliked it. However, that's a minor complaint from the shitshow that is the DBS dub, and there are far more pressing matters (dialogue/translations/Sabat changing shit like the assclown he is).

Ringworm128 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 pm
The problem with the "It takes away roles" argument is that it implies minorities are only able to voice characters that represent how they are in real life.
Exactly. But someone up above said that the point here is that minorities don't even get auditions/roles period. So why is the topic at hand about minorities playing minorities? Shouldn't the issue be why voice acting studios aren't hiring minorities? I feel like people are complaining about A and yet saying it's about B.

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by JulieYBM » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:32 pm
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:23 pm
Does representation really matter when it comes to voice actors for animated shows? It's not like you ever see the people behind the voices.
Yes. Representation leads to inspiration. Positive media images re-enforce self-confidence. This applies to all minorities.

If I have to see one more cis man playing a trans woman and talking about their experiences or accepting accolades I am going to scream.
But you're not seeing them. That's the point. You'll only know anything about the race or gender of the person who does voiceovers if you go out of your way to look it up.
You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by jjgp1112 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:00 am

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 am


Ringworm128 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:57 pm
The problem with the "It takes away roles" argument is that it implies minorities are only able to voice characters that represent how they are in real life.
Exactly. But someone up above said that the point here is that minorities don't even get auditions/roles period. So why is the topic at hand about minorities playing minorities? Shouldn't the issue be why voice acting studios aren't hiring minorities? I feel like people are complaining about A and yet saying it's about B.
Uhh...voice studios not hiring minority actors IS EXACTLY WHAT LEADS TO WHITE ACTORS PLAYING MINORITY CHARACTERS.

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Bulma: Of course! I'm not gonna pull a Frieza and screw it up!
Master Roshi: Bulma, I think Frieza failed because he wore too many clothes!
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:03 am

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 am
But someone up above said that the point here is that minorities don't even get auditions/roles period. So why is the topic at hand about minorities playing minorities? Shouldn't the issue be why voice acting studios aren't hiring minorities? I feel like people are complaining about A and yet saying it's about B.
They are related issues (as jjgp1112 pointed out), but you're right, they are separate issues. Whether actors can play characters who aren't their specific ethnicity is murkier/trickier territory since, as many colored voice actors have noted, only being able to audition for roles that fit their specific ethnicity would actually be more limiting than helpful. That said, there's nothing murky or tricky about the lack of auditions that minorities are getting. They unquestionably need to get more.

Thankfully, there's a lot more awareness about this right now in the casting community. Time will tell if things change, but I'm cautiously optimistic that they will.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Soppa Saia People » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:29 am

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 am
I think the role should go to whomever voices the character best, and fits the role. I saw Mike's post about that being a utopian idea where racism doesn't exist anymore, but it is the best way to be fair. Let anyone audition and pick fairly. That shouldn't be difficult to do, and it isn't my fault that it isn't done.
nobody has said this, and no one is personally attacking you about it ? and yes, ideally the person who fit the character the best would get the role, but that's just not possible in a society where institutionalized racism is so rampant lol. it's really not helpful or a solution to state stuff like that, because most cultures just don't work that way, there's so many factors as to why that wouldn't work and would still stiffle so many poc voice actors, or any discriminated group really.
As others have mentioned, is anime/Dragon Ball really the best thing to apply this to? Most characters are aliens, some are animals that talk, and then we have the only real "West" character of Bulma.
i mean sure a good majority of the main cast are aliens or half aliens or whatever, but their still clearly designed as asian people lol, as well as like, being human. like especially for goku who was designed and treated as a earthling originally. yeah sure for your freezas or zarbons or kiwis, it doesn't really matter (though considering how androgynous freeza is designed as, a queer person playing him would be cool), but yeah the saiyans and stuff are like still humans.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:14 am

JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:32 pm


Yes. Representation leads to inspiration. Positive media images re-enforce self-confidence. This applies to all minorities.

If I have to see one more cis man playing a trans woman and talking about their experiences or accepting accolades I am going to scream.
But you're not seeing them. That's the point. You'll only know anything about the race or gender of the person who does voiceovers if you go out of your way to look it up.
You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
What I am saying is that you could have a voice cast of completely "cishet white people" or a voice cast composed completely of minorities on an animated show and 99% of the people watching the show will neither know nor care.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Soppa Saia People » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:25 am

i mean i don't really agree with that, but even so, you're still giving groups who are discriminated against a opportunity, which i turn can open the door more for people in those groups.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by ABED » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:01 am

I think there is truth to that though. Even in live action I don't think most people know who makes these movies. How many big name directors are there that everyone knows?

Given that the audience likely won't know who is voicing the characters of the shows they watch, I think that gives good reason to make opportunities for minorities more readily available.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Kataphrut » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:39 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:14 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 am


But you're not seeing them. That's the point. You'll only know anything about the race or gender of the person who does voiceovers if you go out of your way to look it up.
You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
What I am saying is that you could have a voice cast of completely "cishet white people" or a voice cast composed completely of minorities on an animated show and 99% of the people watching the show will neither know nor care.
You don't need to cast all of one way or all of the other, that's a meaningless argument. All people are saying is maybe cast white characters with white actors, black characters with black actors and so on. Right now, the current bias in the industry is doing nothing but causing minority actors to miss out on roles. Voice acting is a hard industry to break out in, and harder still for a minority when so many big parts are going towards white actors, even when they don't need to be. Plus, you lose literally nothing by doing it.

I feel like dubbing is a different story because the purpose of that is to cast for the audience rather than the character, if that makes sense. Dragon Ball is a Japanese show performed by Japanese actors, but the English dub exists to adapt that for a Western audience, so uses Western actors. The same happens in reverse for Japanese dubs of Western shows.

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by JulieYBM » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:44 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:14 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:06 am


But you're not seeing them. That's the point. You'll only know anything about the race or gender of the person who does voiceovers if you go out of your way to look it up.
You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
What I am saying is that you could have a voice cast of completely "cishet white people" or a voice cast composed completely of minorities on an animated show and 99% of the people watching the show will neither know nor care.
Then 1% is still enough. Jesus fucking Christ. Do you need to justify your existence to a society that hates you constantly? No? 'Cause I do, and so do many other minorities in various parts of the nations they live in. You want us to not only justify our existence but also justify our right to represent ourselves in media, whether on screen or through our voices. Fuck you.
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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Ajay » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:35 am

JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:44 am
Then 1% is still enough. Jesus fucking Christ. Do you need to justify your existence to a society that hates you constantly? No? 'Cause I do, and so do many other minorities in various parts of the nations they live in. You want us to not only justify our existence but also justify our right to represent ourselves in media, whether on screen or through our voices. Fuck you.
Stop it.

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by dario03 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:28 pm

Kataphrut wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:39 am
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:14 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am


You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
What I am saying is that you could have a voice cast of completely "cishet white people" or a voice cast composed completely of minorities on an animated show and 99% of the people watching the show will neither know nor care.
You don't need to cast all of one way or all of the other, that's a meaningless argument. All people are saying is maybe cast white characters with white actors, black characters with black actors and so on. [snip]
Is it though? Some people have said that but it seems like the two biggest camps are any VA can play any character, and the other side is any POC VA can play any character but white VAs should only play white or nonhuman characters.

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Re: Minority representation for minority characters in Voice acting

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:05 pm

JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:44 am
Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:14 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am


You're hearing them. You looking into and learning about them.

People inevitably learn this shit. It inevitably comes down to "oh, this character I identify with is played by a person completely different from them. I guess they don't exist in real life or get to portray themselves in media!"

The constant bullshit of cishet white people being portrayed as some sort of default is infuriating. Here you are dying on the hill that nobody knows how to play a minority better than some asshole cishet white person. Jesus fuck.
What I am saying is that you could have a voice cast of completely "cishet white people" or a voice cast composed completely of minorities on an animated show and 99% of the people watching the show will neither know nor care.
Then 1% is still enough. Jesus fucking Christ. Do you need to justify your existence to a society that hates you constantly? No? 'Cause I do, and so do many other minorities in various parts of the nations they live in. You want us to not only justify our existence but also justify our right to represent ourselves in media, whether on screen or through our voices. Fuck you.
I totally get the necessity of representation in live action media, but animated shows?

Dragonball is marketed towards young boys (at least in Japan). I bet most of that demographic who watch it don't even know that Goku is voiced by an elderly woman. And the ones who do know don't suddenly feel like they can't identify with him anymore because of it.
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