I have known quite a few voice over artists and jocks in my time in media – some of which have no morals or standards and will read any old script put in front of them, no matter what it says – as long as they get paid. Others object to anything at all that goes against their personal moral code – and I do respect that.
Now if you object to the subject of a script – be it a ‘Live Read’ script or a produced commercial script – should you be forced to read it?
My answer is no…. BUT… it depends on your contract.
For example if you object to horse racing (fair enough) then you don’t want to be reading scripts for horse racing, doing a remote broadcast from the horse racing, or doing a live read for any horse racing… but if your contract with your employer says that you have to read commercial scripts, or the infamous ‘as directed by management’ clause – then should you?
I personally would talk with your manager about this, as early as possible – and respectfully, state why you object to the given script/remote, etc. Ask for someone else to do the job for you and make it clear that you are doing this as a “Conscientious Objector” and not to create or cause problems and issues for them.
Some people may choose to put a price on their compliance and say they will do it if they are paid $XXX amount – and that is their call – but that is sailing extremely close to the old ‘cash for comments’ argument that you would want to be careful doing so.
This also dovetails into the argument for ‘live reads’ and that some jocks want to be paid to do them as they are seen by the public as a personal endorsement of the product, business or service. I totally agree with this and you should be paid extra for every ‘live read’ you do, on top of your normal wage.
What are your thoughts?
Should you and do you say no to scripts that you are given to read?
Can you say no to doing that broadcast from a business location based on your moral objections?
Do you have wiggle room in your contract to do any of these things?