How is it possible to judge a person's age by their voice?

Everyday Ageism: FEMAIL columnist CHRISTA D’SOUZA, asks how is it possible to judge a person’s age by their voice?

  • Julia Sawalha, 51, will no longer be the voice of Ginger in Chicken Run 
  • Christa D’Souza argues the industry underestimates our attachment to voices 
  • British columnist asks how is it possible to judge a person’s age by their voice 

It’s the last tolerated prejudice. But Femail’s had enough. It’s time we called out those day-to-day moments when we’re patronised for no longer being young…

The actress Julia Sawalha, 51, received some disappointing news over lockdown.

The makers of the Chicken Run sequel wrote to inform her that she will no longer be the voice of Ginger. Why? Because her voice is too ‘old’ and they want a younger sounding actress to play the role.

 British columnist Christa D’Souza (pictured), blasts the movie industry’s decision to no longer use Julia Sawalha, 51, as the voice of Ginger in Chicken Run

‘I have officially been plucked, stuffed and roasted,’ she angrily tweeted.

How is it possible to judge a person’s age by their voice? Even if it has minutely changed, so what? The movie industry assumes we can’t handle the idea of a character growing up alongside us and underestimates how we grow attached to certain voices, irrespective of whether they get hoarser or project less well.

The producers should also take into account that a more mature Ginger would be even wiser and the one most likely to come up with the escape plan.

Even if Sawalha’s voice did sound a teensy bit more mature than it did when she was 31 (which it doesn’t, as she proved with a tape she sent in), it behoves continuity of the movie to keep her in.

‘Your voice is too old.’ Honestly. I feel a campaign coming on.

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