February 1, 2012, - 1:56 pm

New York Times Identifies Latest “Sexist Crime” Against Women

By Debbie Schlussel


Leave it to the New York Times in pioneering the art of fabricated feminist grievance. Now, the Times has identified a new marketplace which isn’t “fair” to women: the world of voice-overs in movie trailers. I don’t know about you, but like most women, I trust a man’s voice more. And the marketplace–both men AND women–agrees with me. But the NYT sees some sort of sexist civil rights crime, where the rest of us see, “that’s life–deal with it.”

In the sanctuary of cinema the voice of a sonorous, authoritative, fear-inspiring yet sometimes relatable presence is, invariably, that of a man. Consider the trailer and the omniscient, disembodied voice that introduces moviegoers to a fictional world.

“Most movie trailers are loud and strong, and film studios want that male impact, vocally and thematically,” said Jeff Danis, an agent who represents voice-over artists. “Even if it’s a romantic comedy or nonaction movie, they still want that certain power and drama that men’s voices tend to convey on a grander scale.” . . . Women are seldom cast.

“There are some very talented, very gifted women in this business that can satisfy any request for a narrator, but the opportunities aren’t given to them,” said Mike Soliday, a talent agent who represents prominent male voice artists like Scott Rummell and Tony Rodgers.

As Mr. Danis put it, “Trailers are really the last frontier for women.”

Mr. Long [John Long of Buddha Jones Trailers] noted that his company had worked on dozens of campaigns a year, “and as much as everyone talks about wanting to be innovative and do unexpected things, the idea of a female voice doesn’t come up that often,” he said. “It’s really not part of the formula. Maybe that’s our own shortsightedness.” . . .

Do moviegoers want to hear female voices? Research indicates that our brains are wired to prefer theirs to male ones; that’s the reason robotic voices, like those in GPS devices, tend to be female. (This probably has an evolutionary explanation: fetuses in the womb, identifying with their caretaker, can distinguish their mother’s voice from others, a study published in the journal Psychological Science found.) When it comes to credibility, however, research into the perceived believability of a voice — an important quality for the omniscient narrator of a trailer, as well as the spokesman or -woman for any product, which is the function a trailer serves — tells a different story.

On average both males and females trust male voices more,” said Clifford Nass, a professor of communications at Stanford, noting some gender disparity exists in that women don’t distrust female voices as much as men distrust them. In one study conducted at Stanford two versions of the same video of a woman were presented to subjects: one had the low frequencies of the woman’s voice increased and the high frequencies reduced, the other vice versa. Consistently subjects perceived the deep voice to be smarter, more authoritative and more trustworthy.

Science aside, the conventional wisdom in the movie industry has it that audiences respond more favorably to trailers with male voice-overs. “People don’t buy that product from women, and I don’t know why,” said Seth Gaven of AV Squad, which produced the trailers and television campaigns for “The King’s Speech” and “Captain America.” “Female voice-overs don’t have the same credibility.”

[Emphasis added.]

See, this is the thing with feminist whining. They want to fight human nature and deep, ancient psychological preferences and wiring. And they can’t.

Clearly, movies with men voicing the trailers do better and are more believable . . . to both sexes. Obviously, the liberals in Hollywood who send us a different message in their movies and TV shows, recognize that feminism is bunk, at least in this category.

It’s the marketplace, stupid. And in the movie trailer voice-over arena, the marketplace has decided for male voices.

Women are taking over every single sector in the workplace, to the detriment of men and our culture. If the “last frontier” is movie trailers, what the heck are they whining about?

Seems to me they are batting 1,000. And it’s the men who should be whining a little louder.

**** UPDATE: Don LaFontaine is one of the leading trailer voice-over artists. Reader Ari sent this video:

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20 Responses

More to follow.

Juan on February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Tempest, meet teapot.

Tanstaafl on February 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Feminism keeps fighting human nature… and losing.

This silly piece of political theater is brought up to distract people’s attention from all the progress women have made since the last century.

And its nowhere near the list of the top 100 things people are concerned about.

NormanF on February 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Danis and Soliday are suspect. Probably trolling for new clients & see a chance if this catches on, to line their pockets with loot from would-be female trailer announcers.

I guess now that the Oscars are coming up we will be plagued by these perceived inequities; Jesse Jackson has also been making noises about elimination of some categories allegedly more friendly to blacks.

Even if true, aren’t all these things more than balanced by the massive affirmative action programs that promote less-qualified blacks and women, and by silly programs such as black and gender(sic) studies?

Little Al on February 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Debbie, From what I read years ago, A female voice was chosen over a male voice was due to the military testing “Voice Alarms” on ships and planes. They found that a female voice can cut through noise better that a male voice. Not because of feminism. An example of this was the original television series in the 1960s, Star Trek. The producers asked the military whether they should use a female voice or a male voice on the Enterprise ships computer when developing the show. The only reason “Hollywood” would chose a female voiceover in their trailers now are for feminist/PC reasons in my opinion. A male voice commands attention.

Richard Pucillo on February 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Richard, what an interesting point! It made me think of the creepy female voice in “Aliens”. Great point!

    Skunky on February 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I wonder what s TNYT beef here, why can t they understand and just leave the market place be what it is? women have cornered the modeling industry and pretty much dominate the tv commercials,which by the way most of the time make men look stupid,but it is what it is.

Juan on February 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I can well remember at least one female voiceover for Bob Dole in the 1996 presidential campaign, the result of the candidate’s vow for more “inclusiveness.” Draw your own conclusion.

Seek on February 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Oh, please, don’t hire Roseanne Barr to do trailer voice-overs! I’d be running out of that theater screaming for my money back!

Alan on February 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Curious that “feminists” have so little to say about the treatment of women in the Arab and Islamic world except that it’s not their concern and if *we* make a big deal out of it it’s only because we’re ethnocentric bigots if not raaacists. According to Goldman (aka “Spengler”), almost 90% of Egyptian women are genitally mutilated – and not a peep about it from these so-called feminists.

Raymond in DC on February 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm

“Curious that “feminists” have so little to say about the treatment of women in the Arab and Islamic world expect that it’s not their concern and if *we* make a big deal out of it it’s because we’re ethnocentric bigots if not raaacists.”

You nailed it on the head Raymond, the feminist group along with the womens movement are nothing hypocrites and phonies! Raymond, I believe the reason why womens groups don’t say sqaut about what occurs in islamic countries in the middle east and southeast asia is because more likely their afraid and intimidated by the islamist, there afraid that they may get a so-called “fatwa” or a “kabash” on them.

But they run their big beak-mouths of most of us men who are very masculine and macho (I’m kinda of a macho guy who’s pretty masculine, and I haven’t cried in 15 years, so it’s very difficult for me to cry), etc. And you’re right about the women in Egypt being mutilated on their private areas and the samething can be said for most women in islamic countries being mutilated (regardless what religion the women are in those countries) on their woman-spot and the loud-mouth feminist say NOTHING! And I explained why their silent and nowhere to be seen, heard or found on these issues.

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on February 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Proof that the Devil makes work for idle hands. And mouths. And brains.

And the world keeps moving on.

The Reverend Jacques on February 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm


Don LaFontaine died in 2008.

ibn Abu on February 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Saw this and am surprised this is getting coverage, that this has been dredged up again. Don’t know if you knew this, but this was covered back in 2008 online (there was an article written about it) and I looked at different places that talked about it back then based off that article (I think) and thought it had died.
Here is the link to the original article: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117995618

Hope this isn’t a movement that is going to gain momentum. I hope it dies out. An example I had back then was “Desperate Housewives”–a female narrator is used. One time the show went with a male narrator, and it didn’t quite sound right. I have my degree in Communication Studies with and emphasis in Speech and so voice work interests me. The female voice sounds good for some things and the male voice sounds good for other things.

MH on February 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I thought Don LaFontaine passed? Maybe it’s his son…I’ll click on after my post. I was glad his named was mentioned because I thought of it as soon as I saw the subject of this post and I do miss his voice since he past. I think he even did a Geico commercial a few years ago before he died. It was cute. He was a champ for sure!

I never even thought about the lack of women’s voices in this field. Boy, they can never be happy. It’s just whinge, whinge, whinge and then bully ’til they get special treatment. I am so sick of them.

I don’t think of identity politics when it comes to voice overs. I like the guys voices. If it ain’t broken no need to fix it. Feminists will not stop ’til they destroy the world. You know they are intellectually dishonest because there would be no more feminism if they were truthful to how some females are. They should try to make some females into better people rather than trying to make them seem like the “better” sex.

I love that picture of Pat. So funny!

Skunky on February 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Who is representing the oppressed male voice talent who sound like women? When will their day come?

We can envision a female President of the US. We cannot imagine a man who has the voice of a woman as President.

Nor can we imagine a male president who is only of average female height, or even 5’8” for that matter. We like seeing them tower over their Asian counterparts, right?

So, both genders are included, as long as they are archetypes of their gender. This reenforces gender roles rather than overcoming them.

Matt Robson on February 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm

“Research indicates that our brains are wired to prefer theirs to male ones; that’s the reason robotic voices, like those in GPS devices, tend to be female.” That’s funny because I programmed my GPS with a male voice because I didn’t want a woman telling me what to do…lol.

Ken Souza on February 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I wonder if TNYT who complained about the issue is a woman in a man’s body,otherwise there is no reason to complain,when you put it all in perspective,women comand the tv commercials market and make us men look stupid,fashion shows on tv are all about women….oh and I looove women,my point is let the market be what it is,don t force it into something that is not nor is there a demand to be what is not….but what the hell I gave the NYT more importance than I have only bc Debbie talked about it.

Juan on February 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Oof. Did you really have to use that photo. 😯

Hit’s a wee bit close to home. 😥

Pat in Michigan on February 3, 2012 at 1:02 am

I don’t think it matters who does a voiceover. This whole argument is poorly executed on both ends.

Clouds on January 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

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