Crunchyroll to Recast Mob Psycho 100 III for Simuldub (Updated)
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Crunchyroll confirmed to gaming news outlet Kotaku that the company is recasting the characters in Mob Psycho 100's third season. A spokesperson for Crunchyroll said the choice was made to record the simuldub for Mob Psycho 100 III at the company's Dallas production studio and in order to "accomplish this seamlessly per our production and casting guidelines, we will need to recast some roles."
Update: The SAG-AFTRA union posted a Tweet on September 24 regarding the situation:
Do #mobpsycho100 fans know Mob was recast because @Crunchyroll @SonyPictures refuse to even talk about a union contract? It's #justameeting. #1u #unionstrong(@sagaftra)September 24
Bang Zoom! Entertainment produced the dubs for the previous two seasons of Mob Psycho 100. The majority of the dub actors in the previous two seasons are not based in Texas.
Crunchyroll is moving back to in-person recording, two years after Crunchyroll and FUNimation switched over to remote recording in response to COVID-19. After dozens of dubs produced remotely, many using talent from around the country, Crunchyroll confirmed that it has moved back to bringing Texas-based talent into the studio.
Voice actor Kyle McCarley revealed in a video on Tuesday that he may not return as the anime's protagonist, Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama because Crunchyroll is not complying with his request that the company meet with Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (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. McCarley is a SAG-AFTRA union member and part of the SAG-AFTRA Dubbing Steering Committee and does not usually work on non-union dubs.
McCarley told Kotaku that SAG-AFTRA was flexible and would have been willing to agree to any reasonable terms Crunchyroll put forth. McCarley and a "good portion of the cast" met to discuss the terms they would want. Their terms were pitched to Justin Cook of Crunchyroll directly, according to McCarley. McCarley himself also emailed Crunchyroll president Rahul Purini, the company's chief content officer, chief people officer, chief operating and officer, and the Justin Cook to reaffirm that his request was only for a meeting with them.
McCarley told Kotaku that the company reached out to him on September 8 regarding his availability to appear in the series, something he found odd given how close it was to the series' upcoming premiere on October 5. He also noted when he previously refused to work on the Scarlet Nexus anime series because it was non-union, Funimation replaced him. McCarley voiced Wataru Frazer in the Scarlet Nexus video game but the role went to Aaron Campbell in the 2021 anime series.
In a phone call McCarley told Kotaku he received from Crunchyroll's Justin Cook yesterday, he was told the company declined his terms to meet.
"I don't know why they are so firmly anti-union that they won't even agree to having a conversation about it. I felt like it was a pretty reasonable request, but you'd have to ask them why they appear to disagree,” McCarley told Kotaku.
Sony's Funimation Global Group completed its acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T on August 9 last year. Following the acquisition, Crunchyroll has used Funimation's in-house dubbing studio for its English dubs.
A union dub is a show with a SAG contract. If a studio does not have a contract, members do not generally work for them, and the studio has to hire non-union talent instead. The majority of notable film and TV actors are union members, meaning that most productions also have to be union in order to cast them. The dubbing industry, however, is historically under-unionized, especially when it comes to anime.
McCarley added several points about unions 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.
Crunchyroll will stream the anime worldwide excluding Asia in Japanese with English subtitles and with an English dub as it airs in Japan. The first two episodes screened during the Crunchyroll Expo convention last month.
The first season of the anime premiered in Japan in July 2016, and the second season premiered in January 2019. Crunchyroll streamed both series as they aired in Japan. Funimation streamed English dubs for the anime and released both series on home video. The first series aired on Adult Swim's Toonami programming block starting in October 2018.
Update 09/22: McCarley clarified in a tweet that person he identified as the "head of production" was Justin Cook. The title he attributed to him at the company may have been incorrect.
Update 9/26: Added SAG-AFTRA's Tweet about the situation. Source: SAG-AFTRA's Twitter account
Source: Kotaku (Isaiah Colbert)
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