Anime company Funimation has recently come under fire on social media after an inappropriate recording session was leaked online. The recording includes Dragon Ball Z voice actors using homophobic slurs and making jokes about rape and pedophilia while in character.
Absolutely disappointing to see Funimation store and condone this. @ToeiAnimation, you *need* to crack down on @FUNimation, they're poisoning you IP more and more by the day, and you're bleeding fans. #toei #Funimation #FuniLeaks https://t.co/E16NTnXAUS— Obsidian Sinclaire (@Keiggr) August 30, 2019
Please @ToeiAnimation reconsider your contract with @FUNimation.— Ryumoau (@Ryumoau_Juno) August 30, 2019
Their mentally unstable VAs are using your IP characters to say inappropriate things, completely out of character and homophobic.#MeToei #FuniLeakshttps://t.co/QJlte6JeIL
Recently, Funimation cut ties with voice actor Vig Mignogna following accusations of sexual misconduct. Funimation put out a statement condemning Mignogna over his behavior, and recast him in the Morose Monokean II dub. It remains to be seen what consequences will befall the voice actors of Dragon Ball Z, if any. If Funimation does cut ties with more voice actors, it may impact upcoming releases. Since both Sean Schemmel and Chris Sabat (the voice actors for Goku and Vegeta respectively) are wrapped up in the controversy, it could spell major changes for the future of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is deep in development, and it would be a major undertaking to have a new voice actor start recording lines for Goku, Vegeta, or one of the numerous other characters voiced by Sabat (such as Piccolo and Yamcha). Gogeta, an upcoming DLC character for Dragon Ball FighterZ, could also see a re-work. Sabat is also set to reprise his role as All-Might in My Hero Academia, which Funimation might re-cast following their own precedent.
The Funimation dub for Dragon Ball Z has become so iconic it's hard to imagine other voice actors filling in major roles, but it's not out of the question if the backlash is strong enough. A few fans on Twitter have been clamoring for the return of the Ocean Dub cast following the news.
For those unaware, the Ocean Dub (which gets its name from Canadian studio The Ocean Group) is an English dub for Dragon Ball Z which abruptly ended during the Namek Saga. It has faded into obscurity for the most part, although most fans know it from the "over 9000" meme. Ocean Dub voice actor Brian Drummond also briefly reprised the role of Vegeta (albeit a clone version of the Saiyan prince) in Dragon Ball Super.
Word of caution, if you have any fond memories of Dragon Ball Z... DO NOT listen to #FuniLeaks— KnightWing (@KwingReviews) August 30, 2019
Can We Bring back the Ocean Dub group please? Seriously what kind of company would archive this stuff?
Well I guess its time to get bleach for my ears, find a way to forget the weird stuff i just heard, and bring back the ocean dub cast. #Funimation #FuniLeaks— UncannyBoi (@TheLightWeegee) August 30, 2019
Ngl though I would watch a ocean dub of super.
At the time of writing neither Funimation, Toei Animation, or Bandai Namco have put out a statement, so it remains to be seen what actions will be taken.