On Friday, anime fans were met with the news of a leak involving Funimation voice actors. The audio features dubbing for the popular Dragon Ball Z franchise that has nothing to do with the actual translation. Instead, listeners were treated to offensive dialogue involving sex, rape, homophobia, and incest. The fallout from the revelations has been a constant trending topic on Twitter throughout the day. While the company and actors have yet to comment, fans have been split on their thoughts about the subject.
One of the series most well-known actors, Sean Schemmel, has been drawn into the controversy as some of the clips claim to be of him uttering homophobic remarks. The dialogue has not been confirmed, Schemmel’s previous work as Goku offers fans a comparison between the release and possible ties. The actor—who has not released a statement—is facing claims from some Twitter users that he is actively blocking those who speak out against the dialogue. He is also facing backlash from the franchise’s LGBTQ fans.
Funimation has had its share of problems in the past, most recently seeing the situation with actor Vic Mignogna boil over into a legal battle. In February, the company cut ties with the actor after multiple allegations of sexual harassment as well as homophobic comments began to spread over social media. This led to a high profile lawsuit filed by Mignogna against not only Funimation, but other voice actors including Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial. At the time of the lawsuit’s confirmation Variety said,”Mignogna’s suit stated that he is suing for interference in other work contracts and that the charges made against him accusing him of sexual harassment are false, and affected his career due to not only Funimation’s decision to no longer work with him, but conventions also canceled his appearances.”
The fallout from these issues come at a time when anticipation is high for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. With many of the actors from the series being caught up in the news, it remains to be seen if Kakarot or anything else from the dubbed franchise makes its way to fans. As GameRant points out in their recent article on the leaks, “Since Goku voice actor Sean Schemmel is the one who confirmed that the Buu Saga will be in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, it’s safe to assume that at least some of the English voice lines have already been recorded for the game, and if not, that an English dub is at least in the works.”