i mean, there’s dante basco and mako—-
WHOA, JUST GOT THAT— mako in legend of korra is named after the voice actor who played uncle iroh until he passed? omgggg
but all the other main characters (or most of them? i think?) are white. according to imdb.
i know, right? that’s the one thing i struggle with the very very most. is that two of the strongest indigenous women characters on television have been voiced by two white women. i know the total babe from hawai’i 5O has voiced a couple of characters, and in the last airbender, the guy who plays the govenor who put aang on trial was used repeatedly through the show and is a pretty prolific actor.
but that’s about it, that are the major characters at least. it makes me wonder if they don’t have much of a budget for voice actors, so they can’t put the effort into training a new actor like we’ve seen in other situations (like: pixar trained several kids, including the voice of kid in UP)—i don’t think many of the people whose voice talent they use were brand spanking new. and if it’s an industry dominated by white folks, then it becomes one of those “never challenged” situations.
but either way, it surprised me too, cuz they’ve been SO good about working with and empowering the artists they work with in korea, and making sure that korean talent is throughout the entire process—it’s surprising that they don’t have access to korean voice talent at the very least…
The voice acting pool is pretty small, and I feel for some reason producing companies don’t feel it necessary to widen the pool, because it’s not like people notice anyway, or something like that. (This is how Jim Cummings is in like almost every cartoon from the 90’s.) It is totally an industry dominated by white folks, but there are POC here and there (Keith Richards, anybody?).
Did you mean David Keith (voice of Goliath)? And yes, from what I understand it’s very hard to break into voice acting b/c it’s a very insular little community. And the POC who do get in tend to be in EVERYTHING because they ain’t lettin’ no one else in!
The two that come to mind right away are Cree Summer, who is almost guaranteed to show up if a character is black and female, and Phil Lamarr, who shows up a lot when a character is black and male. Though interestingly, on the Avengers cartoon he is NOT the voice of Black Panther, but of J.A.R.V.I.S.
I don’t know why the voice acting community is so insular. The fact that it is creates this problematic thing around race. If you don’t have a deep pool to draw from in the first place, then most everyone is going to be white. I’m willing to accept that voice acting is different from other acting and you don’t want to bring in someone random who can’t handle it. But then I think about how all those Disney and Pixar and Dreamworks movies get big name stars who have never done voice acting and they seem to do a fine job and I think: shenanigans are happening here.
Really interesting reading the above, and it’s not something to which I’d ever given much thought, BUT, I just wanted to throw out there the fact that OMG I ONLY JUST NOTICED GEORGE TAKEI VOICED THE LEAD FIRE NATION DOOD IN “IMPRISONED” OMG OMG.
That is all.