Last week, an actor filed suit against TikTok for using her voice without permission in itstext-to-speech feature. Yesterday, TikTok changed the voice, and the users wish it hadn't.
In the suit, Bev Standing, the former voice of TikTok's text to speech feature, said that she only discovered that her voice was being used on the platform last November. Standing's voice had already been used in thousands upon thousands of TikToks, and had become a familiar feature of the platform.
Today, TikTok users were startled to learn that Standing is no longer the voice of the text to speech feature. Instead, a similar sounding, but perkier female voice will read the text on the screen. The reaction to this change has so far been very negative. The criticisms are slightly tongue in cheek, but some queer users on the site have picked up how out of place this voice and inflection sounds when saying queer slang.
Black people on TikTok have cited a similar issue, saying that the new text to speech voice sounds absurd when using black slang. In particular, the new voice sounds very enthusiastic to say the n-word.
People have criticized this voice for sounding too much like a young white women, which is awkward for non-white, non-women on TikTok. It's also been described as sounding like Barbie, a preppy mean girl, or the narrator of YouTube channels like Troom Troom or WatchMojo.
In Standing's lawsuit, she says that she was not informed that her voice would be used for the text to speech feature, and that the kinds of things her voice has been made to say will affect her career as a voice actress. It's notable because many, many people on TikTok are currently trying to make the new text to speech voice over say the most deranged things possible. Multiple people have made TikToks trying to make the new voiceover moan sexually.