What Will Happen To A Convict's Voice Acting Work?
by Justin Sevakis,
With the recent imprisonment of Scott Freeman, what is likely to happen with future releases of shows that he has already dubbed? I am a big fan of both Highschool DxD and Baka and Test amongst other shows he voiced for and am looking to collect them physically. Will these shows continue to be released as they are due to costs or will they look to replace his voice work? I assume that the studios will want to distance themselves from him as they were quick to cut ties, and justifiably so.
For those who missed it, Funimation voice actor Scott Freeman recently pled guilty to 8 counts of possession of child pornography, a third degree felony. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison, and definitely won't be returning to anime dubbing any time soon.
In a statement, Funimation told ANN that they found out about Freeman's legal troubles in May, shortly after he was brought up on charges, and they immediately suspended any work with him, a suspension that is now permanent given that he's a convicted sex offender. That was four months ago, and given the pace at which Funimation dubs and releases shows these days, it's highly unlikely there's anything left unreleased that featured Freeman. In fact, he was already replaced in his role as Issei in High School DxD BorN by Josh Grelle, which was produced as a Broadcast Dub starting in May. You can bet that whenever Funimation gets around to dubbing Hetalia The World Twinkle, the role of England will be played by someone else.
A single voice actor, frankly, doesn't matter very much to the production and release of a show. Dub voice actors need to be re-cast all the time, and for reasons a lot less dramatic than being in prison. Some voice actors move away, or decide to stop doing voice work for various reasons. Funimation is usually pretty good about trying to maintain voice actor continuity, but when it's just not possible, recasting is done without a second thought, and things proceed on schedule.
However, if you're hoping to see the dubs revised to remove Freeman from any of his previous work, that will not happen. The budgets on these dubs are already stretched thin, and it's not like Funimation can prevent people from seeing something that's already been out for years, sold a bunch of copies and has more still in warehouses, on retailer shelves, and on streaming servers owned by everyone from Netflix to iTunes to Hulu. The cost of re-doing anything with that dub is just not worth avoiding the potential embarrassment of selling a show with the voice of a guy who they didn't know at the time was engaged in illegal activities. They have a good excuse, and that's enough.
Got questions for me? Send them in! The e-mail address, as always, is answerman (at!) animenewsnetwork.com.
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