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Crunchyroll Faces Backlash For Replacing Mob Psycho Cast Over Union-Dub Contract

Crunchyroll denied to produce Season 3 on a SAG-AFTRA contract.

In a surprising turn of events, Crunchyroll revealed that they will recast certain roles in Mob Psycho 100 Season 3 citing local talent will ensure a seamless production for the simul-dub. However, the fact that this move came on the back of Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama’s voice actor Kyle McCarley dropping out of the third season over SAG-AFTRA contract disagreement resulted in Crunchyroll facing a lot of backlash for the stance they had taken in the whole matter.

Not only were they ridiculed for putting out a statement, which many claimed, did not reflect the actual reason of the recast, voice actors also banded together to point out how they have been exploited in the past in a similar way.

Twitter user Brainchild129 compared Crunchyroll wrecking one of their biggest hits just to steer away from giving voice actors a union dub contract, to cutting off one’s nose to spite your face.

“The Crunchyroll/Funimation conglomerate is so determined to keep their VAs away unionization that they’re willing to wreck the dub of one of their biggest hits just to avoid even meeting with union staff. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face,” the user wrote.

“hey @Crunchyroll I can’t believe how absolutely mindless you are to potentially kick out your main English VA role just so you can dodge even a CONVERSATION about the actors unionizing. good luck Kyle, hopefully this causes enough uproar that the higher-ups reconsider,” another user wrote.

The streaming giant was also criticized for not even trying to hold talks with representatives of SAG-AFTRA to hammer out a contract for future productions. This move was seen as Crunchyroll ignoring their workers, which would go down poorly in public eye.

“They literally would have lost nothing by simply having talks. Hell, they probably would have gotten points in the public eye. And they would have kept an actor who I’ve only ever seen be fantastic in roles he’s done,” another user said.

Jacob Chapman, who posts anime and weeb pop culture videos on YouTube under Weebservations channel, termed Crunchyroll’s response to McCarley’s demands as ghoulish.

“What Kyle has done, asking to negotiate SAG-AFTRA benefits for other voice actors on the project he’s involved in, is incredibly selfless and risky. CR’s response is ghoulish in its cowardice. They could’ve taken a meeting just to feed him union-busting bullshit out of respect,” he tweeted.

Similar incidents from the past, where voice actors had revealed their meagre pay were also brought up as McCarley’s video and his stance to drop out of Mob Psycho Season 3 trended.

Jujustu Kaisen 0‘s voice actors getting paid quite less was one such incident which started doing the rounds again. Voice actors Anairis Quiñones and Tara Jeyne Sands, who were part of the movie, said that they only received $150 for their work in the movie.

Fellow voice actors showed their support for McCarley, standing by what he did. They were of the opinion that Sony owned Crunchyroll had more than enough resources to make sure that all their anime dubs have a union-dub contract.

Most of them didn’t understand what was stopping Crunchyroll from doing so, while streaming services like Netflix had signed a company wide SAG-AFTRA contract back in 2019.

Some even asked other voice actors to not audition for the recast.

“To voice actors everywhere, this is not how you want to break into the biz! Stay away from this re-cast! Respect from your fellow performers is priceless,” voice actor Bob Bergen wrote.

McCarley even agreed to work on the third season of Mob Psycho on a non-union contract if Crunchyroll agreed to sit down and meet with SAG-AFTRA representatives with the intention of negotiating a potential contract for them to use on future productions.

After McCarley posted the video, Crunchyroll, in a statement to Kotaku, said that they will need to recast some roles.

“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,” the statement read.

However, Crunchyroll’s excuse of recasting McCarley in favor of local talent to ensure a seamless production was ridiculed by people.

Mob Psycho 100 season 3 will start airing on Oct 5, 2022, every Wednesday in Japan.

Crunchyroll will simulcast the anime in subbed and English Dub versions in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, CIS, and territories around the world (excluding Asia).

The series is described by Crunchyroll as such:

Kageyama Shigeo, a.k.a. “Mob,” is a boy who has trouble expressing himself, but who happens to be a powerful esper. Mob is determined to live a normal life and keeps his ESP suppressed, but when his emotions surge to a level of 100%, something terrible happens to him! As he’s surrounded by false espers, evil spirits, and mysterious organizations, what will Mob think? What choices will he make? The anime based on the original story by ONE, the idol of the webcomic world and creator of One-Punch Man, is coming your way with animation by leading animation studio Bones!

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