NBC's 'Today' Gives Voice to Class Envy in Hollywood
âOver the last five years, weâve seen a dramatic increase in the useâ of those celebrities, Panasonic advertising executive Bob Greenberg told Okwu on the July 5 âTodayâ show.
The problem, according to Okwu?
âNon-famous, career voiceover artists must audition with hundreds of competitorsâ and âthey earn union scale, about $400 plus residuals,â Okwu noted before bringing out a successful voiceover artist to complain about the pay disparity.
âLetâs put it this way, there are some people that are making a million dollars an hour,â announcer Tom Kane griped. Okwu told viewers Kane is paid âa lot less.â
âJust go make your movies. Let us do our commercials and no one gets hurt,â 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 Kaneâs 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 âBooty Call,â âIce Age 2,â and âJimmy Neutron.â
And despite Kaneâs 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 childrenâs television to at least two major animated movies: 2002âs âThe Powerpuff Girlsâ and in 1998âs âThe Wild Thornberrys.â
Okwuâs reporting is reminiscent of when the Business & Media Institute noticed CNNâs Andy Serwer praising actress (and AOL commercial voiceover artist) Julia Roberts for earning her money âthe old-fashioned wayâ while bashing corporate executives for âgetting paid for a pulse.â