All About BIPOC Voiceover
For a long time, the term POC has been used internationally to identify anyone who is a person of colour. Since 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement, a revision to this term has been gaining traction online and in media – BIPOC, which stands for Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour.
Founders of “The BIPOC Project” are using this term to “highlight the unique relationship to Whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of colour within a U.S. context.
Historically, black and indigenous peoples have been subject to systemic racism. Many use this term to highlight their uniqueness and claim it helps them stand out amongst other cultures and races.
BIPOC and Diversity in Voice-over
Throughout the years, the voice-over community has always appreciated using different and unique voices for many projects. Sometimes the specifications on the audition sheet would call for an African American, Native indigenous, or Caribbean person, or sometimes, there would be no specification at all, just which language they are requesting. In the last two or three years, there has been an increase in requests for more specific cultures, races, and ethnicities. Another popular term on the specification sheet will read “Diverse, BIPOC or Inclusive submissions requested.”
What Does Diversity in Voice-Over Mean?
A diverse request could mean someone of colour, or it may not. It could mean they are looking for someone unique to them, perhaps someone with a specific regional US accent or a non-native English speaker with a specific accent. Either way, the casting director is looking for a non-typical voice that will stand out from the usual voices we hear on television or radio.
A BIPOC request means they are looking for a voice talent, specifically Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour. At first glance, one may wonder why they ask for a BIPOC talent. It’s not always apparent by the voice alone that the talent is BIPOC. Yet, perhaps the information that the talent is speaking of represents information pertinent to BIPOC individuals. It could also be the product they are promoting was created by a BIPOC business owner. Lastly, maybe the casting director or producer wants to give equal opportunity to a BIPOC talent, requesting submissions from these marginalized groups. In either case, the casting director can request whichever voice, race, or group they perceive to best fit the role.
Industries Using BIPOC Voiceover
Any industry sector can hire BIPOC voiceover and diverse talent for their projects. You’ll often hear these voices used in large campaigns for companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Mc Donalds, Burger King, and Dell, amongst hundreds of others.
Many eLearning companies request BIPOC and diverse voice talent to be used in projects and scenarios to mimic a realistic working environment. The talent will speak in a neutral standard North American accent or a regional one relevant to the script.
Examples of Leah’s BIPOC Voiceover and Diverse Work
Leah has performed many styles in her voice-over work, including BIPOC and diverse projects for BMW, CGI, AWS, Workday, Salesforce, The Golden Hawks, Cymbiotika, Listerine, Maui Moisture, Sam’s Club, and many more. Leah would love to work with your team performing as a BIPOC voice-over talent for your next project. Feel free to contact her anytime to collaborate!
Looking forward to working with you!