All About Diverse Voiceover
The history of diverse voiceover has included many cultures and ethnicities over the years. Where this is true, most voice actors were usually of Caucasian descent. The same was true for on-camera actors and those working in the entertainment business. In some cases, Caucasian actors even donned culturally inappropriate costumes and makeup to portray ethnicities other than their own.
Now we have more diversity than ever in the voiceover industry and on-camera actors. The push for diversity has grown over the last 25 or so years, and it began with the hiring and highlighting of more ethnicities in casting actors, which in turn moved into the world of voiceover.
I recall watching TV shows such as Friends and Frasier as a youth, wondering why there was no diversity. The shows were set in New York City and Seattle; still, there was no variety, even in the background extras. The people in those cities and others banned together and called out this misrepresentation, and soon we saw a more diverse set of background actors and then principal cast members.
Equal Opportunity for Diverse Voiceover
Throughout the years, the voiceover 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 descent. Sometimes, there would be no specification, just which language they requested. In the last two or three years, there has been an increase in requests for more specific cultures, races, and ethnicities. Other popular terms on the specification sheet now include “diverse, BIPOC, or inclusive submissions requested.”
What Does Diversity in Voiceover Mean?
A diverse request could mean someone of color, or it may not. It could mean they are looking for someone unique to them, such as a specific regional accent or a non-native English speaker with a particular accent. Either way, the casting director is looking for a non-typical and inclusive voice that will stand out from the usual voices we hear on television or radio.
Another reason a casting director hires a diverse voice is to provide more opportunities to those who haven’t booked a project because of their color or race. As terrible as this is, it still happens, and specifically, requesting diverse talent gives them the privilege of booking regular work.
Industries Using Diverse Voiceover
Any industry sector can hire diverse voiceover 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, among many others.
Many eLearning companies request diverse voice talent to bring authenticity to their projects. The actor will speak in a neutral North American accent or a regional one relevant to the script. Hiring ethnic and diverse voices for eLearning, podcasts, commercials, and documentaries helps create a bridge between the company and the client.
Examples of My Diverse Voiceover
I have performed many voiceover styles, including diverse projects for BMW, CGI, AWS, Workday, Salesforce, The Golden Hawks, Cymbiotika, Listerine, Maui Moisture, Sam’s Club, and many more. I would love to work with your team performing diverse voiceovers for your next project. Contact me today to collaborate!