As discussions around AI, ethics, and consent continue to swell, one popular voice actress has found herself the target of harassment leading to her departure from Twitter.
Fans on Reddit spotted that Erica Lindbeck—who lent her voice to Futaba Sakura in Persona 5 and Black Cat in Insomniac's Spider-Man—had deleted both her Twitter and Instagram accounts over the weekend. It comes after she received backlash from AI advocates for calling out a YouTube video which cribbed from her voicework in Persona 5 to generate a cover of Bo Burnham's song Welcome to the Internet.
Unfortunately, there are very few archived tweets of the event, but a few screenshots have circulated around Reddit and Twitter. Lindbeck appears to have expressed her unhappiness with the AI-generated video's existence, tweeting the link along with the request: "Please report this stuff you guys, this is such a violation." The call to mass report the video appears to be what caught the attention of trolls, who went on to reupload the video across social media in retaliation. This is despite the original creator taking the video down, with Lindbeck later tweeting "The creator of the video is lovely—they messaged me and apologized. I have no ill towards them, and next time this happens I will handle it differently."
In further tweets, Lindbeck clarified: "It's not about *this* video in particular or *this* creator specifically. I've had a content creator make an AI video of my character [referring to her character of Loona on TV show Helluva Boss] saying disparaging remarks regarding the show I was on. Literally putting words in my mouth that could easily be taken as mine. As an artist, that is so terrifying. I absolutely believe these people are making this stuff for fun, and are not fully aware of the negative effects AI content could have on the people whose voices they're using. I never meant for this creator to be dogpiled."
Despite this, harassment towards Lindbeck appears to have continued. A now-suspended account tweeted that the voice actress had initiated a "harassing campaign" and added that the video was "dumb and harmless", pinpointing monetisation as a reason why it wasn't a big deal.
Replies to the tweet have been full of support for Lindbeck, with fellow voice actors and Persona 5 cast members defending her in comments and retweets. Robbie Daymond, who voices Goro Akechi in Atlus's JRPG, tweeted "About Erica Lindbeck. What the FUCK is wrong with people? Has social media & the internet completely destroyed their sense of decency? Turned their brains to mush? Nuked their empathy, detached them from reality & dialed their malignant narcissism up to 11? Makes me insanely mad."
Ann Takamaki VA Erika Harlacher-Stone also weighed in, tweeting "Erica Lindbeck is amazing and sweet and has been through hell and back in the past couple years. How dare you AI stans bully her off of social media, all because she told you not to steal her voice without consent??? You're awful and I hope you have a bad day."
Voice actors Josh Keaton, Yuri Lowenthal and Mike Pollock also came to Lindbeck's defence. Lowenthal "seconded" Keaton's statement that "Erica is a wonderful person and doesn't deserve any of this," while Pollock photoshopped a tweet from the suspended account, adding: "You don't think putting troublesome words into another person's mouth is just a little bit creepy?"
The situation comes shortly after a slew of voice actors denounced the use of AI, after several of them found their voice had been cloned for NSFW deepfake mods. Many pointed out a lack of consent when it comes to having their work manipulated for AI use, with the National Association of Voice Actors saying that "the damage to voice actors and game companies by AI and synthetic voices is real and tangible."