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From Apu to Aladdin: Why white voices will no longer do

34 Comments
By Natalie HANDEL

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I think Handel has completely missed the "actor" part of voice actor. The role of an actor is to pretend to be someone they are not for the purposes of entertaining people.

But if you want to go for accuracy, why stop at getting a black guy to voice someone like Dr. Hibbert? If you're after authenticity, why not get a black doctor to do it? Or if you're getting a black guy to voice Carl, why not get a black nuclear engineer to do it?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Political correctness give CRAZY! It is really racist to pressure him to step down, only because he is white!!! He is obviously an extremely competent and talented actor. How comes nobody protests racism against whites nowadays?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Is it O.K. for a black or Asian actor to play Hamlet, a Danish prince who, though fictional, must have been racially a Dane by any reasonable cultural or historical standard?

Authenticity is really just code word for power.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Yeah getting too PC for sure, looks like a lot of these people will only have part time jobs since I assume they will NOT be allowed to then voice OUTSIDE their ethnicity.......suppose only time will tell

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This whole thing has really gotten totally out of hand... What are they gonna when they need a multi-ethnic, transgendered paraplegic character with PTSD?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I understand and appreciate the efforts being put forth to increase diversity. It really does matter. Take the Disney princesses. My daughter's favorite is Elena because, in her words, "she has dark hair and dark skin like me." I remember my Black friends going crazy when Ron Simmons won the WCW title the (30349 zip code is in the South).

That being said, I think the Simpsons actors are catching a lot of flack they don't deserve. When the show started out 30 years ago, it was an animated segment on The Tracy Ulman Show with actors from the show doing the voices. When it became its own show, the actors stayed and more characters were added. One actor doing once voice became one actor dong 10 voices. It is basically economics. Why hire and pay 45 actors when you can get it done with 5 doing multiple roles? The name Mel Blanc ring a bell? They intended no harm and have apologized for harm that was done despite intentions. My brother has done voice work (audio books, documentaries) and has had to voice people different from what he is. That is the job. By all means, train and hire mover diverse voice actors. It would be a good thing. But don't take it out on the actors for something that evolved over the past 30 years.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I never realized that along with skin, voices could be colored. Do we Japanese have a voice color?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The name Mel Blanc ring a bell?

Mel Blanc would be forced to quit if he was working today. Because he's not a rabbit.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

These people don't seem to realize that it's an actors job to make us believe s/he's someone other than who s/he is. If you have to "look the part" to get the part, it significantly lowers the bar on the level of talent required - and that bar is already in the basement.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's a cartoon! Its not real, its all made up..... The skin tone, ethnicity or culture of the person "voicing" the character doesn't matter.

Its all getting a more than a little silly

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Think about this! Hamilton...the play

0 ( +3 / -3 )

By the way, Harry’s grammar was too good. He could have snuck around this issue by talking improperly.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Disney's "Aladdin" is one of the industry's most notorious examples of whitewashing, with white actors voicing the title role, Princesse Jasmine, and the Genie in the 1992 film.

Completely agree. I demand an authentic blue genie voice actor to do this voice work.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

These three famous people: Suzanne Pleshette, David Ogden Stiers, and John Ratzenberger were all hired and paid to do voices in "Spirited Away." A quick scan of the actors paid to do the English voices in "Spirited Away" reveals not a single person with a Japanese name or who looks Japanese.

For the upcoming Miyazaki animation "How Do You Live?" it is of vital importance that only people of Japanese ancestry be hired to do the English Voices!

According to IMBD most of the sound crew who worked on "37 Seconds" have Korean names. Outrageous! Only Japanese people can edit the voices of Japanese actors.

I saw a white person eating sushi! Call the PC police!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Would never work here in Japan. Japanese subtitles only for English language movies? A lot of ‘tale to’ out of work.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

n

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Raisins never complained about Buddy Miles. True talent. RIP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_B9SHKlabQ

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The point is taken, but if actors have to match ethnicity etc. with the role, what is the point of being an actor? You are almost always playing someone you are not. Better to focus on authentic depiction of a role, maybe.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The lead character Bart Simpson, an eight year old boy, is voiced by a middle aged woman.

I'm outraged!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I thought the whole point of acting was pretending to be someone you aren’t.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

90th Academy Award Honoree and Emmy Award Winner Don Rickles skillfully *voice-acted the role of popular ***BIPOC** characterMR**. P*” ***in four, consecutive movies as late as 2019 and no one objected!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I thought the whole point of acting was pretending to be someone you aren’t.

Luddite, you’re confusing this with politics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So then that also means people like *Eddie Murphy or Dave Chapelle* are not allowed to do white voices either??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

and just like that, racism disappeared forever!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Caucasians are a small minority of the world population but keep having to give up what we created. Why can't the other races create something?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

and just like that, racism disappeared forever!

Well that's just silly. One more step towards equality does not equal the end of racism. If that were true, we wouldn't have seen the MASSIVE amount of hatred when a black man became president of the USA

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Henry MontagFeb. 28  10:15 am JST

I think Handel has completely missed the "actor" part of voice actor. The role of an actor is to pretend to be someone they are not for the purposes of entertaining people.

But if you want to go for accuracy, why stop at getting a black guy to voice someone like Dr. Hibbert? If you're after authenticity, why not get a black doctor to do it? Or if you're getting a black guy to voice Carl, why not get a black nuclear engineer to do it?

What next? A gay actor to voice a gay cartoon character? 30 years ago it was revealed that the voice of Bart Simpson is a woman. Yes, a WOMAN. Are we going to substitute her voice with a young boy now?

mikeylikesitFeb. 28  10:43 am JST

Is it O.K. for a black or Asian actor to play Hamlet, a Danish prince who, though fictional, must have been racially a Dane by any reasonable cultural or historical standard?

Authenticity is really just code word for power.

When I saw and met George Takei at a Trekkie convention in 1992, somebody asked him what more he's done outside of STAR TREK movies lately and he replied 'Shakespeare'. Shakespeare play characters are mostly European white (a notable exception is the Moor Othello). Yet the messages and stories behind these plays transcend all races and colors, cultures and even history. The acclaimed Black American actor James Earl Jones performed in Shakespeare too (and he voiced Anakin Skywalker = Darth Vader, a White guy in a galaxy far, far away).

If these multi-voice actors are really just tired of all the multi-character voice load after 30 years, why don't they just say so? This 'authenticity'/PC crap is just that. Acting is just that - it's an art, a discipline that takes training to do.

In 1984 Billy Joel had a multi-tracked near-a capella Top 20 hit with 'The Longest Time' where he imitated voices of the various ethnicities in NYC - Italian, Greek, Polish, Hispanic, Haitian, Black American, etc. on analog tapes and spliced them together. Which one of those voices is Billy Joel? They all are!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well that's just silly. One more step towards equality does not equal the end of racism. If that were true, we wouldn't have seen the MASSIVE amount of hatred when a black man became president of the USA

The Black man who became arguably the most popular President since Reagan, and who was voted in by an overwhelming majority of white people?

THAT black man?

No young fella. Equality has long since been realized in the United States.

As the brilliant Thomas Sowell (another BLACK man!) said years ago;

Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists."

for someone who accuses others of racism on an almost daily basis, that quote should sound very, very familiar.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No young fella. Equality has long since been realized in the United States.

Sounds like something Mayor Quimby would say.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds like something Mayor Quimby would say.

Sounds like something Ralph would say.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

StrangerlandMar. 1 01:43 am JST

and just like that, racism disappeared forever!

Well that's just silly. One more step towards equality does not equal the end of racism. If that were true, we wouldn't have seen the MASSIVE amount of hatred when a black man became president of the USA

There never was a black man as president of the USA, Obama is of mixed race. A black person as president would be fine, as long as the qualifications are fitting. Obama’s mother was white. Stop the binary thinking already!  It's 2021, accept mixed races! There is more in life than just black and white. Mixed races do exist. Call it bi-racial, whatever floats your boat.  But liberals (or sometimes centrist, whatever fits your daily narrative) are so intolerant that they can’t accept mixed races. I see nothing wrong with mixed races. I celebrate mixed races as my family is mixed race as are probably many posters on this forum, but unfortunately “one of the few enlightened ones” with drug fueled “expanded consciousness” ( I'm still laughing at that one, back to the hippie 60s ) who is a "better person" for it, does not accept a mixed race.  Wonders never cease! There was no MASSIVE hatred for Obama, but there was massive resistance for his asinine policies.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I suppose pretty soon the white animators will have to stop drawing Dr Hibbert et al.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There never was a black man as president of the USA, Obama is of mixed race. 

On the street, Mr. Obama is seen as a black man and treated as something less than a white man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

90th Academy Award Honoree and Emmy Award Winner Don Rickles skillfully *voice-acted the role of popular ***BIPOC*** character* “MR***. *P*” ****in four, consecutive movies* as late as 2019 and no one objected!

Potato Head is not "BIPOC", because they are a potato.

Please do not deadname Potato Head.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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