Representation in animation, particularly among voice casts, has become an important discussion within the industry. Following whitewashing claims surrounding “The Simpsons,” “BoJack Horseman,” and “Rick and Morty,” the producers of “Bob’s Burgers” are taking a proactive stance on their own casting process.
“We are very aware of casting men as women,” creator Loren Bouchard said at the start of the show’s 2018 Comic-Con panel. “Of course we’re aware — we know they’re men.”
Two of the three main female characters are voiced by men: Linda Belcher is played by Jon Roberts, and her daughter Tina is voiced by Dan Mintz. Kristen Schaal plays the youngest woman of the family, Louise.
“Kristen has done a great job reprimanding us year after year,” Bouchard said. “We’re not proud of taking jobs from women. That’s not what we want as a slugline for Bob’s: ‘Taking jobs from women since 2010.’”
So Bouchard vowed to do something about it.
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“We need some balance,” he said. “We want to improve. I think the cross-casting is fun; it’s part of what makes animation magical. Jon Roberts can make Linda come alive. […] And yet we do want [actual] evidence of balance. We trot out Laura and Sarah Silverman as evidence we hire women other than Kristen. […] I do believe in good citizenship and I do believe in balance. I think the show owes it to [the fans].”
Schaal promptly thanked Bouchard for acknowledging the topic in public, and he thanked her for “reprimanding” him for years.
“Yeah, we are going to do better,” Schaal said.
Later in the panel, a fan asked why more women weren’t on the show’s annual Comic-Con panels.
“These are the questions we want to be asked and have no good answer for,” Bouchard said. “Hopefully we can get some women up on the panel in future years.”
Bouchard also reassured fans the announced movie is still expected in 2020.
“We are in the process of trying to figure out how that’s all going to play out,” he said. “We’re very honored we’re going to be able to do that.”
“Maybe we’ll even do a stand-up tour from city to city to promote it — I want to,” Schaal added.
If Fox is smart, they’ll listen to her this time.