SAG-AFTRA is asking the state of California to investigate the videogame industry for allegedly allowing unsafe practices that damage performers’ vocal chords.
The union has asked the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration in a letter to investigate industry practices and create voice safety standards.
“Increasing numbers of voiceover actors are reporting that they are experiencing both short-term and/or long-term damage to their vocal cords, due to the intensity of the vocal demands put on to them by the employers,” said the letter from SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White to Cal/OSHA.
He wrote that for up to four hours, actors are asked to perform voices, noises, death screams, creature voices, combat yelling and other sounds with so much force that they are causing internal damage to their vocal cords. He added that medical specialists have documented that the vocal stress from video games is causing medical problems that include vocal nodules, cysts, polyps and, in some cases, cord hemorrhaging.
The union posted the letter on its website.
—City News Service