Does Nancy Cartwright need permission to use Bart Simpson voice for Scientology?

Ay, Caramba! Bart Makes Robo-Call for Scientology

In general, does a voice actor need to get permission to do this type of thing (assuming the voice actor does not own the character in question)?

INAL but I’d have thought “sounding” like BART Simpson shouldn’t get you in that much bother (esp if you have a couple of hundred scientology lawyers on hand). But saying “This is Bart Simpson” definitely could. Then again presumably Scientology could afford to keep Fox tied up in the courts for years (and any subsequent damages).

That said I notice when they get voice actors to replace real hollywood actors in computer games after they they failed to get the real actor (such as Al Pacino in the Godfather game), they make sure the voice actor sounds NOTHING like the original actor,

I heard Nancy Cartwright interviewed on the radio once. They asked her to do the Bart Simpson voice, but she refused because (she said) she didn’t legally own that voice. It sounded suspect to me at the time.

I thought when they had the Simpsons cast on “In the Actors’ Studio,” they said the same.

How do you suppose Nancy Cartwright would respond if FOX sued the church of scientology? Could FOX find a replacement?

Bart would get Chucked.

We could at least hope that both entities implode in the resulting conflagration.

Harry Shearer did Simpsons voices on the Actors Studio, not sure why the other actors did not.

WAG - Perhaps Harry owns “his” voices while the other voice actors do not own theirs.

Harry Shearer, Dan Castellanata, Nancy Cartwright & Hank Azaria all did the voices on camera on their “Inside the Actor’s Studio” appearance.

Yes. Though that would probably get permission, anyway.

I’ve also seen Cartwright do Bart on talk shows. As long as she’s not specifically identifying herself as “Bart Simpson,” she’s in the clear.

They pretty much all said they didn’t have rights to do the voices outside the show and then did the voices for the Actor’s Studio, and I assumed they had permission.

Yup, I was going to say that Harry Shearer did a great promo here for a public/community radio station, in the voice of CM Burns, which went something like “This is Monty Burns, and I KNOW you’re a layabout, because you listen to 3RRR-FM”.

(If anyone can link me to an audio file of this, I’d be very appreciative!)

In one of the many, many Simpsons DVD commentaries, I think Nancy Cartwright tells a story about doing Bart’s voice over the PA system on a plane while she was on vacation. I’m sure she wouldn’t have had any legal trouble there even if she does not have the rights to do that - but it brings this “they don’t have the rights” thing into question, I think.

With some of the more versatile cast members, it’s doubtful any voice they use isn’t that of some one-off character on the show.

Poor Yeardly Smith only does one or two voices and sounds like Lisa Simpson

In an interview I once saw with Cartwright, it was stated that she was limited in the things she could say as Bart, which I took to mean that if she used the voice, in a public manner, she had to either repeat something that had previously been said by Bart, or had been cleared by the brass. Which makes sense, if you think about it. For example, when Butterfinger was using the Simpson’s characters in their ads, it would be a real pisser for one of the actors to be recorded (while using the character’s voice) saying that they just lurve a competing product.

A very curious thought to think that a person may not own their own voice.

Cartwright definitely does not own the character of Bart Simpson. In her book she states she is limited to what she can say, and she cannot use the voice commercially to make a profit from it.

Whether this is a commercial use of the voice is for the courts to decide.