Anime English dubbing voice actors don’t get paid enough, and Mob’s voice actor Kyle McCarley is likely to be removed from the role for raising his voice on this issue.
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a union representing artists and negotiating contracts (salary, minimum wage) with production companies. In a video posted to his YouTube channel on Tuesday, voice actor Kyle McCarley revealed that he might not reprise his role as protagonist Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama in the upcoming English dub of Mob Psycho 100 III because Crunchyroll is refusing to meet with SAG-AFTRA union representatives to negotiate a potential contract on future productions.
“It has been made abundantly clear to me that in the case of season three of Mob Psycho 100, Crunchyroll is not going to be producing that show on a SAG-AFTRA contract,” McCarley said.
“I just want to put this little note in here to be very, very clear: it’s not about money. [Crunchyroll] was prepared to pay me at least what I would be getting on a union-scale contract, possibly more, they just don’t want to put it on a union contract,” McCarley said in his YouTube video.
Despite this, McCarley approached Crunchyroll with the idea that he would work non-union on this season in exchange for Crunchyroll negotiating a possible contract with SAG-AFTRA on future productions. But Crunchyroll told Kotaku that they “will recast some roles,” implying that Mob’s voice caster might be changed. The statement wrote:
Crunchyroll is excited to bring fans worldwide the dub for the third season of Mob Psycho 100 III as a SimulDub, the same day-and-date as the Japanese broadcast. We’ll be producing the English dub at our Dallas production studios, and to accomplish this seamlessly per our production and casting guidelines, we will need to recast some roles. We’re excited for fans to enjoy the new voice talent and greatly thank any departing cast for their contributions to previous seasons.
While talking about the importance of union in the dubbing industry, Kyle McCarley wrote on Twitter:
Unions protect the workers they represent chiefly by giving them collective bargaining power, meaning that instead of negotiating the terms of your employment individually, one-on-one, the union negotiates baseline minimums for everyone all at once. This generally leads to better terms for all workers, because as a collective, you have sway in these negotiations. How much you get paid, how long your hours are, how hard those hours are, how often you get breaks or time off, what safety precautions are taken, etc.
Just one example of how SAG-AFTRA helps voice over performers, specifically, is by negotiating terms that protect us from vocally stressful work. We often have to do a lot of screaming/shouting on the job, but our contracts ensure it’s never for too long a time. Our union’s also gone to great lengths to educate both us and our employers on the dangers of vocally stressful work. And there are plenty of other benefits, but the big ones I want to point out are the health insurance and retirement fund.
Why Crunchyroll Doesn’t Want To Work In A Union Contract?
The SAG-AFTRA union negotiates contracts with studios to ensure that union members receive better compensation, good working conditions, payments toward health insurance and a pension, and preferred casting. If a production company doesn’t have a contract with the Union, they can’t hire any artists from the Union.
Crunchyroll hires freelance voice actors hourly, so they don’t have to worry about health insurance or working conditions. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 film made $30 million in the US, but the voice actors were paid “$150 for the side roles and maybe up to $500ish for the leads for the session,” as revealed by Michael Schwalbe on Twitter.
Luckily, more and more anime community is speaking against the low wages of dubbing voice actors.
Voice actor Kyle McCarley recently Tweeted out that fans who want to support voice actors are already doing that by tagging Crunchyroll and letting them know that fans want Crunchyroll to reconsider its position.
Mob Psycho 100 anime is based on the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by ONE. From April 2012 until December 2017, it was serialized on Shogakukan’s Ura Sunday website. Studio Bones picked up the manga for an anime adaptation. The first season was released in July 2016, followed by season 2 in Jan 2019. Season 3 is scheduled to release in Oct 2022.