Crunchyroll got criticized on Tuesday after saying that the lead role in the next season of Mob Psycho 100 would be played by a new English-speaking voice actor. The news comes just a few weeks before the start of season 3 of Mob Psycho 100 on October 1.
Kyle McCarley, the original voice actor for Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, told fans in a video posted to YouTube and Twitter that he probably wouldn’t be back to play Mob in the upcoming third season of Mob Psycho 100. As far as he knew, the reason was that McCarley and Crunchyroll couldn’t come to an agreement about the actor’s wish to work under a union contract.
McCarley says in the video, “It has been very clear to me that Crunchyroll will not be able to make season three of Mob Psycho 100 on a SAG-AFTRA budget.” “And I want to add this note to make it clear that it’s not about money. They were willing to pay me at least as much as I would get on a union contract, and maybe even more. They just don’t want to put it in a union contract.”
McCarley goes on to say that instead of a SAG-AFTRA contract, he agreed to work on the next season of Mob Psycho 100 under a non-union contract, as long as Crunchyroll met with SAG-AFTRA representatives to talk about a possible contract for future productions.
“In the past, Crunchyroll has been very hesitant to put anything they make under a SAG-AFTRA contract. Because of the role I, play in this show and the popularity of this show with you guys, it seemed like there might be a chance to change that.”
When asked for a comment, Crunchyroll said that in the English dub of the next season of Mob Psycho 100, they would “need to recast some roles.” The reaction online has been heated, with voice actors, critics, and fans of anime all calling for Crunchyroll to do more to recognize SAG-AFTRA and start negotiating in good faith.
Here is the official statement that Crunchyroll gave to Polygon:
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.
In August of last year, it was reported that Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.’s anime entertainment company and streaming service Funimation had bought Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion. After the purchase, Crunchyroll took over Funimation’s library of anime titles and changed its name to Crunchyroll, LLC in March.
After being bought by Sony, the company has continued to grow and merge. In August, Crunchyroll bought Right Stuf, one of the biggest online stores for anime merchandise. This led to the “phasing out of the erotica genre content and products” on the store’s website.
Crunchyroll’s troubled relationship with voice-over actors, translators, and the growing demand for union representation in anime is a long-running issue in the industry, but McCarley’s decision to leave Mob Psycho 100 season 3 on his own is one of the most visible moments of conflict for the company, which is becoming more and more powerful.
The third season of Mob Psycho 100 starts on Oct. 5 on Crunchyroll.
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