The anime community (and especially the Dragon Ball community) was rocked hard earlier this year when longtime voice actor Vic Mignogna was fired by Funimation for what were reportedly numerous accounts of harassment or inappropriate behavior with both anime fans at conventions and his fellow actors in the voice acting community. The continued controversy over the situation and its merits have led to today's controversy, in which audio recordings of other prominent Dragon Ball voice actors have been leaked online, in apparent retaliation to the Vic Mignogna situation.
As a result of the controversy surrounding the content of those leaked Dragon Ball recordings, Funimation (the company that produces Dragon Ball's dubbed series) became a trending topic on Twitter, for all the wrong reasons. These recordings have been uploaded in various places across the internet.
The recordings are from sessions that the Dragon Ball voice cast recorded many years ago, seemingly during Dragon Ball Z's run. They are essentially outtakes in between actual sessions of dialogue recording, in which the cast and crew seemingly cut loose and had some fun, making dirty jokes, or playing out perversely twisted scenarios as their various characters.
So far, the clips have a lot of Dragon Ball and anime fans split. Some think this reveal constitutes fireable offenses for the actors; others say this was (while inappropriate) humor shared between adult actors, in what they all agreed was a safe and permissive environment, and that the real crime is the leaking of that material.
Of course, the controversy and debate seem to be exactly what the leakers desired in the first place. Vic Mignogna's firing was seen by some of his loyal fans as being unwarranted; there were repeated claims that the voice actor never actually assaulted or harassed anyone, but was simply guilty of overstepping bounds of intimacy with fans and co-workers, and having those accounts resurface the #MeToo movement. To those Vic supporters, this is now a measure of double standards: if Funimation takes no action, then the accusation will be that not all bad behavior by voice actors is being punished equally by the company.
That plan of attack ultimately may not work though, as some fans seem to be enjoying the audio of their favorite characters uttering offensive language.3comments
Comicbook.com reached out for a statement from Funimation, but the company has no official comment at this time.
Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese-language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media, and Dragon Ball Super: Broly is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.