Crunchyroll came under fire on Tuesday after announcing that the upcoming third season of Mob Psycho 100 would see a new English-language voice actor take over the series lead role. The news comes a few weeks before Mob Psycho 100Season 3 premieres in early October.
In a video uploaded to YouTube and Twitter, voice actor Kyle McCarley, the original voice actor for Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, explained to fans that he probably won’t be returning to play the role of Mob in the upcoming third season of the Mob Psycho 100. The reasons, as he understood them, were due to a breakdown in negotiations between McCarley and Crunchyroll regarding the actor’s desire to work under a union contract.
“It was very clear to me that in the case of season three of Mob Psycho 100, Crunchyroll will not produce this show on a SAG-AFTRA budget,” McCarley says in the video. “And I want to put this little note here to be very, very clear, it’s not about the money. They were willing to pay me at least what I would get with a union-wide contract, maybe -be more. They just don’t want to put him on a union contract.
McCarley goes on to explain that instead of a SAG-AFTRA contract, he agreed to perform on the next season of Mob Psycho 100 under a non-union contract on the condition that Crunchyroll meet with representatives of SAG-AFTRA to negotiate a possible contract for future productions.
“Crunchyroll has always been very, very hesitant to accept anything it produces in a SAG-AFTRA contract, and because of the role I have on this particular show and the popularity of this particular show with you, it seemed like there might be a possibility to change that.
When asked to comment, Crunchyroll responded by announcing that the company would “need to recast some roles” in the English dub for the next season of Mob Psycho 100. The online response was heated, with the anime voice actors, reviewsand Fans calling for greater action by Crunchyroll to recognize SAG-AFTRA and agree to negotiations in good faith.
Here is Crunchyroll’s official statement provided to Polygon:
Crunchyroll is thrilled to bring fans around the world the third season dub of Mob Psycho 100 III as SimulDub, on the same day and date as the Japanese broadcast. We will be producing the English dub in our Dallas production studios, and to achieve this seamlessly according to our production and casting guidelines, we will need to recast certain roles. We’re thrilled that fans are enjoying the new voice talent and sincerely thank all of the departing cast for their contributions to past seasons.
Crunchyroll made news in August last year when it was announced that Funimation, the anime entertainment company and streaming service owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., had acquired the company for $1.175 billion. dollars. Following the acquisition, Funimation’s library of anime titles was folded under Crunchyroll in March and rebranded as Crunchyroll, LLC. The company only continued to grow and consolidate following its acquisition by Sony, with Crunchyroll buying Right Stuf, one of the largest online anime merchandise retailers, in August, resulting in the ” phasing out Erotica genre content and product”. on the retailer’s website. While Crunchyroll’s troubled relationship with voiceover actors, translators, and the growing demand for union representation in anime is an ongoing industry controversy, McCarley’s decision to voluntarily step down from Mob Psycho 100 Season 3 marks one of the most visible moments of friction for the increasingly monolithic company.
Mob Psycho 100 Season 3 premieres October 5 on Crunchyroll.