Crunchyroll came under fire on Tuesday after announcing that the upcoming third season of Mafia Psycho 100 would see a new English-speaking voice actor take over the lead role of the series. The news comes just a few weeks early Mafia Psycho 100season 3 premiere early October.
In a video uploaded to YouTube and Twitter, voice actor Kyle McCarley, the original voice actor of Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, explained to fans that he probably wouldn’t return to play the part of Mob in the upcoming third season of the Mafia 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 has been abundantly clear to me that in the case of season three of… Mafia Psycho 100Crunchyroll is not going to produce that show on a SAG-AFTRA budget,” McCarley said in the video. “And I want to put this note here to be very, very clear, it’s not about money. They were willing to pay me what I would get on a union scale contract, possibly more. They just don’t want to put it on a union contract.”
McCarley goes on to explain that, in lieu of a SAG-AFTRA contract, he agreed to perform on the upcoming season of Mafia Psycho 100 under a non-union contract on the condition that Crunchyroll would meet with representatives from SAG-AFTRA to negotiate a potential contract intended for future productions.
“Crunchyroll has historically been very, very reluctant to put anything they produce on 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 may be a chance to change that.”
When asked for comment, Crunchyroll responded by announcing that the company should “recast some roles” in the English dub of the upcoming season of Mafia Psycho 100. The reaction online has been heated, with anime voice actors, criticsand fans calls for more action by Crunchyroll to recognize SAG-AFTRA and agree to good faith negotiations.
Here’s Crunchyroll’s official statement to Polygon:
Crunchyroll is excited to bring fans around the world the dub for Season 3 of Mob Psycho 100 III as SimulDub, same day and date as the Japanese broadcast. We will be producing the English dub in our production studios in Dallas, and to achieve this seamlessly according to our production and casting guidelines, we will have to rearrange some roles. We are thrilled that fans can enjoy the new voice talent and a huge thank you to all the departing cast for their contributions to previous seasons.
Crunchyroll hit the headlines last August when it was announced that Funimation, the anime entertainment company and streaming service of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. acquired the company for $1.175 billion. After the acquisition, the Funimation library of anime titles was folded under Crunchyroll in March and renamed Crunchyroll, LLC. The company has only continued to grow and consolidate after its acquisition by Sony, with Crunchyroll buy the right stuff, one of the largest online anime merchandise retailers, in August, resulting in the “phasing out of Erotica genre content and product” on the retailer’s website. While Crunchyroll’s difficult relationship with voiceover actors, translators and the growing demand for union representation in anime is an ongoing controversy in the industryMcCarley’s decision to voluntarily renounce Mafia Psycho 100 Season 3 marks one of the most visible frictional moments for the increasingly monolithic company.
Mafia Psycho 100 Season 3 premieres October 5 on Crunchyroll.