One space (of many problematic spaces) in Hollywood that is often overlooked when it comes authentic and inclusive hiring is the voice over space — but Edward Hong changed that with a PGM (People of Global Majority) VO List.
Hong created the list in June in an effort to bolster visibility to BIPOC actors in the voice over space. Two of the biggest news stories about this in the past year was when Jenny Slate and Kristen Bell stepped down from their roles as Black characters in Big Mouth and Central Park, respectively. The news of the two actresses exited during the racial reckoning when police forces all over all over the country were murdering Black people — and they continue to do so.
Ayo Edebiri replaced Slate for the role of Missy, a biracial character on Big Mouth. Nick Kroll, co-creator, executive producer and star on the Netflix series alongs with series creators Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett released a statement in regards to Slate stepping down: “We made a mistake, took our privilege for granted, and we are working hard to do better moving forward. We are proud of the representation that Missy has offered cerebral, sensitive women of color, and we plan to continue that representation and further grow Missy’s character as we recast a new Black actor to play her.”
Honestly, the Black characters should have been voiced by Black actors to begin, but we’re in Hollywood and that’s how things go — but Hong’s list is a resource. Hollywood has no excuse in hiring actors that align with the ethnicity of characters.
Since Hong launched the PGM VO List, it has grown to nearly 1,000 actors in every ethnicity including Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Middle Eastern/North African and Latine/Hispanic. It has become a resource that’s been circulated by Netflix, Nickelodeon, Penguin Random House, multiple VO production companies and casting office.
Permission to access is required, but you can request access and view the PGM VO list here.