WARNING: (NSFW) This episode contains content about victimization and sexual abuse that some listeners may find disturbing.
In the wake of the #metoo social awareness movement, Anne and Gabby talk candidly about the struggles women face with sexual harassment and misconduct. This episode also talks about victims of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a well-known voiceover coach.
Where you can go for help: If you, or someone you know, is a victim of abuse, please know that help is available, and you are not alone. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. You can also access 24/7 help online by visiting online.rainn.org.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
It’s ok to speak out on your own time. Don’t feel pressured to speak out.
You are not alone.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
24/7 Help Available Here or call 800.656.HOPE (4673)
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Anne: Welcome everybody to the VO BOSS podcast. I am your host Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely cohost, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.
Anne: Gabby, today we are going to talk about I think something that is prevalent right now in the industry news.
Anne: That is the #metoo campaign, and I think it is something that we need to talk about, and we need to get out into the open if we can, so that we can hopefully move forward.
Gabby: Moving of course in a positive way, not a forgetful way, not a dismissive way, but something healthy and productive. I think there’s a couple of things we need to sort of start about this podcast and this conversation which is number one, #metoo applies not just to women.
Gabby: It can very easily apply to men as well. That being said, we do know that obviously statistically speaking women are more likely to be victims of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct. Everyone is afraid to speak out.
Anne: Yeah, I think that’s a good point.
Gabby: Yeah, for a variety of reasons on these topics. There is the fear of being shunned, there is the social stigma, there is the fear of —
Anne: Not being able to work.
Gabby: So in the last couple of days, we have seen a lot of our fellow voice actresses very bravely stand up and #metoo, and some of them have told their stories. Some have just opted to say, “hey, I am right there with you. I know what it’s like.” We had a bit of a voiceover shakeup as a result.
Anne: First of all, before we actually get to that, I’d like to kind of point out for all of the #metoo’s that we have seen, I think that there are maybe so many more that we’re not seeing, again for the reasons, Gabby, that you talked about, being afraid of speaking out because maybe you won’t be able to get work. I will tell you that I was one of those women that put #metoo in my feed, and that’s all I put. However I do want to contribute and let it be known that it is much more widespread than maybe people are talking about. That is why I am glad we are here today talking about it, Gabby, because I think it is very important. Yesterday, Gabby, I, I saw something in the voiceover thread that really was surprising to me, shook me up, and gosh, I — then I called you and asked if you had seen the thread.
Gabby: Which I hadn’t. But unfortunately its topic was not unknown to me. Let’s talk about it. So, so tell me about your — I guess how you stumbled upon this or how you became privy to the post and what was going on.
Anne: Well, it just happened to be in a voiceover Facebook group, and it was allegations about a certain member of the voiceover community that was harassing other members of the community. And apparently it had been going on for a while. But apparently, when I asked some of my other colleagues about it, it was not a surprise. And my first question, Gabby, is why? Why — I feel like I, I didn’t know about it, but there were so many people that did, and why, why did it, why did it take until now for it to come out? Why so long apparently if this had been going on for years? And that, that’s a little distressing to me.
Gabby: Let’s, let’s back up just one second. I mean, let’s just really I think make sure that this is abundantly clear and we are not being too, too vague on the topic, right? So there is a very well-known, very um, I don’t know, shall we say respected voiceover coach in the New York market — that’s as much I will say regarding identity — who has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior and advances towards a variety of women in the voiceover community. And so a lot of people have now stepped up I guess and started to come out and tell their stories. Much like what’s going on in Hollywood, uhh yeah. It wasn’t really a huge shock to a lot of people.
Anne: I do want to point out too to our listeners, it’s difficult for Gabby and I to talk about it actually, and we’re just kind of talking about it now, and, and so at least I feel that it, it’s an important first step that although parts of this podcast may seem awkward to you, it is awkward. And it’s, it’s awkward talking about it, but I think Gabby and I are really wanting to let you guys know that, you know what, it — these things, they are happening.
Gabby: The unfortunate thing I think is that realistically there are always going to be predators. Can you completely avoid um putting yourself or having yourself be put in a bad position and somewhere you don’t want to be? Not always. Most of the stories and most of the things you hear women say are of course things like, “I was, I was just too nice” or “too agreeable,” or “I didn’t want to be rude.”
Anne: Or it took them by complete surprise, which is something — if you knew, if you knew to anticipate it, you probably would stay away. But for most of these cases, it was a complete surprise. I guess if there’s a mindset to the predator, that that is really what they prey upon is the fact that you are in a situation where you are going to be taken by surprise, so that that way it can happen. Right? I guess. I don’t really know. I, I’m not — I don’t want to put myself too much into the predator’s mindset. I can only try to assume.
Gabby: Well, I…well, I mean, let’s, let’s be realistic. Right? It’s usually closed quarters. It’s not public situation. There is one or two people there. It is very intimate settings. And unfortunately when we talk about voice over, especially the relationship between a coach and a trainee, if you will, the student, that relationship is very one-on-one, and —