Let’s get ethical, ethical! I want to get ethical! Let’s get into ETHICAL! Sometimes there are just certain jobs that are out of your moral comfort zone. And that’s okay. Anne and Gabby share some of their experiences with questionable jobs, what their hard lines are and how they tell their clients/agents “no” when one of these jobs pops up.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Less is more in terms of a professional response
Political voiceovers would like you to pick a side
If you don’t agree with the copy, you may not be convincing in your delivery
From a legal standpoint – they can’t shoot the messenger
Don’t provide a quote or agree to terms without a script
Be careful what you put out on social media
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
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Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely, beautiful cohost Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gab.
Anne: [laughs] Gabby, today I have a very interesting question to ask you. How far will you go in regards to a voiceover job?
Gabby: What are we talking about, like first base, second base, third — no? That’s not what your asking.
Anne: No, no, no, no, no.
Anne: In regards to, let’s say, content.
Anne: Content of your voiceover job.
Anne: Do you have a limit? Do you have certain things that —
Anne: Will refuse?
Anne: Certain jobs that you just won’t take on or even entertain the thought, depending on content and/or money?
Gabby: Ye-yeah. I think, I think all voiceovers have their limit, but um we sometimes don’t, don’t talk about that enough to, to kind of share and help folks to understand. Plus when I was in the casting chair, man, I saw it all.
Gabby: I saw every refusal for work you can think of. Everyone has a different moral or ethical stance on their work, and there’s, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a matter of knowing, you know, where you stand. For me personally, anything that um is a very strong cultural and racial um bias, slander, just you know, nastiness, I won’t, I won’t engage in because that is just ick and no. [laughs] Anything that is too overtly sexual, um I’m like, no, hehehehe, because that’s just it. I can’t, I can’t do that kind of stuff with a straight face. It’s not even so much that I’m, I’m opposed to the material. I just know me. You and I know folks who do romance novels.
Anne: Sure. Absolutely.
Gabby: You know, erotica. Yeah. And I just, I can’t get through that with a straight face. I just will laugh and fall apart and like turn into a giggling 15-year-old, and I’m out, so you know.
Gabby: So that one, I mean, I guess it’s an ethics issue to the line where I just go, “yeah, I don’t feel good about this, you know. Doesn’t, doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.” But you know, not, not too much else. I mean, I’ve done things for alcohol companies. I have no problem with that, and a lot of voice actors do. They won’t support alcohol, or tobacco, or firearms, or you know, anything of that nature. And, and then strong language is, is another big one. I couldn’t care less — say anything.
Gabby: I don’t care about the curse words. That doesn’t bother me.
Anne: Well you know, I think, I think for me it has, it has — it is all very similar to what I would entertain discussing in social media, which I always say to stay clear of religion and politics, especially umm things that you feel strongly about. I don’t know if, if, if controversial voiceover jobs — do you want them associated with your brand? And so if you stay away a certain — from certain jobs, how do you let that client know that you’re not willing to take that job on? Is there a, is there a graceful way to say no?
Gabby: Oh yeah. I’ve seen both. I’ve seen the right way and I’ve seen the wrong way. Usually, as with most casting, you know, that third party who is involved, the booking party, agents, casting company, production company, whatever, you know, they are putting out the audition, and in many cases, if they know it’s a potentially controversial subject matter, they might say, you know, “feel free to disregard,” or “don’t answer if — don’t respond to this audition if you’re not OK with this topic or with this subject,” whatever it is. Honestly, the politest, the easiest way is to just not answer it. It’s, it’s just that.
Anne: Or say no thanks. [laughs]
Gabby: Yeah. Hit delete or yeah, “no thanks. I’m not, I’m not — ”
Anne: “Thank you for the opportunity.”
Gabby: and then I’ve seen people go off with like diatribes. Like I’ve seen [laughs] like, you know, like the Dead Sea Scrolls are being unfurled for all the reasons why.
Anne: Here is all the reasons why.
Gabby: They will not — yeah, “why I won’t take the job, and why it’s immoral, and why it’s this, and why it’s this.” And I’m like, hoo boy.
Anne: I think in that regard, like that’s just — I think less is more in terms of a professional response.
Anne: I don’t think if you are going to, you know, say no to work, I don’t think that the casting director really needs to know all of the whys, because you just might be writing for the sake of writing. So once you say no, that’s really all of the information they really need.
Anne: And anything else that you add to it would simply be on your end, making you feel better. Perhaps not, you know, doing anything in regards to making the casting director feel guilty or, you know, horrible for asking such a thing of anybody. [laughs]
Gabby: Yeah, I think, I mean, gosh. I, I think honestly the biggest culprit, believe it or not, because it’s, it’s, you know, you said it at the top, religion and politics, right? They are. They’re, they’re the two biggest culprits where people jump on their political or religious bandwagon and feel the need to tell others what they think or what they feel.
Anne: And that serves them. [laughs]
Gabby: It does, it really does. I mean, the casting director like, we don’t care, ’cause we can’t play those games. It, it’s EEO, guys. We have to look at it from that standpoint. It’s equal opportunity for all, so mm whatever. The Christian community for some reason can get really intense about what religions they’ll support or whether they’ll do something for another religion, or even another denomination within their faith. That’s like kind of a biggie that folks don’t like to, to participate in.
Anne: Well, on the other side of the coin there is that you will have people who will strictly do Christian voiceover.
Gabby: Oh yeah.