NBC's 'Today' Gives Voice to Class Envy in Hollywood
‚ÄúOver the last five years, we‚Äôve seen a dramatic increase in the use‚ÄĚ of those celebrities, Panasonic advertising executive Bob Greenberg told Okwu on the July 5 ‚ÄúToday‚ÄĚ show.
The problem, according to Okwu?
‚ÄúNon-famous, career voiceover artists must audition with hundreds of competitors‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúthey earn union scale, about $400 plus residuals,‚ÄĚ Okwu noted before bringing out a successful voiceover artist to complain about the pay disparity.
‚ÄúLet‚Äôs put it this way, there are some people that are making a million dollars an hour,‚ÄĚ announcer Tom Kane griped. Okwu told viewers Kane is paid ‚Äúa lot less.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúJust go make your movies. Let us do our commercials and no one gets hurt,‚ÄĚ Kane told Okwu.
But Kane is far more successful than the average union dues-paying announcer and he himself has starred in a few animated movies.
A look at Kane‚Äôs professional Web site and his profile at the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com), tell of a career voicing over television shows, video games, and trailers to movies such as ‚ÄúBooty Call,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIce Age 2,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúJimmy Neutron.‚ÄĚ
And despite Kane‚Äôs gripe about actors staying out of his profession, the announcer for the 2006 Oscars has himself taken a stab at acting, from various cartoons on children‚Äôs television to at least two major animated movies: 2002‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Powerpuff Girls‚ÄĚ and in 1998‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Wild Thornberrys.‚ÄĚ
Okwu‚Äôs reporting is reminiscent of when the Business & Media Institute noticed CNN‚Äôs Andy Serwer praising actress (and AOL commercial voiceover artist) Julia Roberts for earning her money ‚Äúthe old-fashioned way‚ÄĚ while bashing corporate executives for ‚Äúgetting paid for a pulse.‚ÄĚ