Being in the public eye is very difficult, and voice actors aren't exempt to such pressure. Despite the profession being conducted in recording booths, there are plenty of ways voice actors are publicized and put up for display. This is especially true in Japan as voice actors are held to rigid expectations that some stars admit has made them consider suicide.
Recently, the Japan Actors Union conducted a survey amongst voice actors to find out how they feel about their work. Anime News Network is breaking down those results, and the Union says 30% of voice actors said they have thought about wanting to die because of their job.
The information was gathered after the Union interview a total of 166 actors. Of those asked, 48 stars said they did have suicidal thoughts because of their profession. A full report from the Union is still pending, but this interim announcement has many fans reassessing the way they view voice actors as a whole.
After all, the recent poll went on to break down the worries which actors said plague them the most. Many were concerned about their working hours as well as public harassment. The Union even brought in a psychiatrist to give a full explanation of the pressures imposed upon Japanese voice actors.
"Entertainers are constantly judged on social media services, and have diet and sleep restrictions, so it is easy to become stressed, and they do not have anyone to talk to about their worries, which can lead to thoughts of suicide," the doctor shared.
This topic is a sensitive one given its difficult nature, but it is one that must be addressed both in Japan and overseas. Within the country, new reports have shown that premature deaths are still primarily caused by suicide as opposed to illnesses such as COVID-19. More than 13,000 lives have been lost in Japan this year because of suicide, and the country still ranks as one of the highest when it comes to citizens taking their own lives. This is why the Union is gathering data ahead of a proposal to create a mental health service for actors in need of counseling.0comments
Fans are hoping more open conversations about mental health will chip away at Japan's notorious suicide rate. Still, the loss of talent like Hana Kimura and Yuko Takeuchi amongst others still resonates painfully. The memory of these belated stars is what will push forward new ways to address mental health, and this poll shines a light on why voice actors need more love now than ever before.
What do you think about this poll's disturbing findings? Let us know in the comments below. If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact your local suicide prevention service. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for U.S. residents is available at 1-800-273-8255