Occasionally, voice actors are faced with the dilemma of accepting a project that doesn’t exactly align with their thoughts or feelings. Whether it’s a political ad or a promotion for a product they don’t feel comfortable endorsing, a decision has to be made to either go against your conviction and accept the job or stand firm and turn it down. Ideally, we would all love to be in the financial position to refuse the job but that’s not always the case.
But what happens when you read something that turns out not to be what you thought it was?
Here’s an example. Would you accept payment to read this line?:
“Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong.”
As an avid fan of astronomy, I might question it, but I can see how someone would think that it’s a fairly innocuous line. That’s exactly what happened to Kate Mulgrew, better known as Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager or Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov from the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. She was hired to read that line for a trailer for a film based on geocentrism, which is apparently based on the ancient belief that the universe revolves around the Earth. I didn’t realize that there are people who actually still believe that, but to each his own. While it does fall on the actor to know what they are reading, when you look deeper into the story it seems like some deception was involved. The producers of the film also edited segments from noted scientists to make it appear as if they too supported the theory.
Mulgrew’s statement was: “I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one.”
Lawrence Krauss, who was featured in that clip, tweeted afterwards:
For all who asked: Some clips of me apparently were mined for movie on geocentricism. So stupid does disservice to word nonsense. Ignore it.
— Lawrence Krauss (@LKrauss1) April 8, 2014
He chose not to sue the producers so as not to give it any more attention.
It’s a sneaky and underhanded way to promote your product. There’s lots of it going around. Be careful what you say!