Cancel culture in Europe is coming for Disney-owned animation studio Pixar for using a white cast to dub the voices of black characters in the new movie, Soul.
When the film released in Denmark, it was praised for depicting a black jazz musician and showing his joyous life journey - who was originally voiced by Jamie Fox in the American release.
However, once people learned that the cast hired to translate the film into Danish were white instead of black, the backlash began.
Nikolaj Lie Kaas, the white actor who was hired for Soul’s Danish release, felt enough pressure to jump to his Facebook account to put out a statement saying that he thinks that the actor “who can perform the work in the best possible way [should] get the job.”
Denmark was not alone. In Portugal, critics also discovered that not many actors of color were used to translate the film into Portuguese. The realization resulted in a petition that earned more than 17,000 signatures to have the movie re-dubbed using actors of color.
Indeed, it appears that white actors were used to dub the voices of the black characters in a large number of European releases. One of the few exceptions is in France, where a black actor was chosen to dub the lead black character’s voice in the film.
Some European studios and directors have defended themselves, stating that they do not fill a racial quota but that their job is to try and replicate the original character’s sound.
“The best dubbing should pass by completely undetected,” said leading Spanish dubbing director and voice actor Juan Logar. “My job is to find the voice that best matches the original. Black, white, Asian, it doesn’t matter.”
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