Those blood-curdling screams you hear in video games might be causing voice actors permanent damage, union says.
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors and other performers in Hollywood, recently asked the state of California to open an investigation into allegedly unsafe vocal recording sessions held by companies in the video game industry.
In a letter sent to the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health on May 25, SAG-AFTRA said that long hours, coupled with the need to record loud and strenuous noises such as violent screaming and inhuman voices, were damaging the vocal cords of its members.
David White, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director, sent the letter to Cal/OSHA regional manager Hassan Adan after collecting months of feedback from the union’s members. SAG-AFTRA began reaching out to the agency in early February after receiving a strong response from its members concerning unsafe voice acting practices in video games.
According to the union, its members have suffered from issues including cysts, polyps and cord hemorrhaging. SAG-AFTRA warned that the practices would cause permanent and “career-ending” changes in vocal quality or complete vocal cord paralysis.
White added that the union’s members were given insufficient time to warm up their voices and, in some cases, were given special candies to stop the actors from feeling the damage they were inflicting on their vocal cords.