The woman behind TikTok's popular text-to-speech voice has made peace with people using her voice to say bad things: 'In my mind, I understand that that's not me'




TikTok
TikTok  
  • A radio show host in Canada confirmed last month she's behind TikTok's popular Jessie voice.

  • Kat Callaghan said she's made peace with people using the text-to-speech voice to say bad things.

  • She told The Verge she can separate herself from the voice because she understands it's not her.

The woman behind TikTok's famous text-to-speech voice, Jessie, said she's made peace with the platform's creators using it to say bad things on the app.

Kat Callaghan, a radio host on Canada's 91.5 The Beat station, told The Verge she can distance herself from TikToks that use her voice to say profane things.

"In my mind, I understand that that's not me - I never said that," she told the publication. "So that's fine if that's what people want to do on their own platform, but it certainly isn't anything that I would ever say."

She said she can separate herself from Jessie, as her voice is known on the platform, because it's "the part of me that lives in the app," and "it's not me saying all those things: it's the content creators that are saying it."

Callaghan confirmed in her first TikTok last month that she's the person behind Jessie after listeners said the two sounded similar.

 

"For a long time I didn't say a word," Callaghan wrote on TikTok. "But … yes it's me and yes I have an ongoing awesome relationship with the folks at TikTok."

The Jessie voice, and others on the app, read aloud the text that creators write so they don't have to record their own voice. It's also an accessibility feature that helps visually impaired users understand what a TikTok is about. Jessie's tone is brighter than the others.

"Jessie's definitely different, and people are obviously hearing that, and they're using it for that reason: because she is different and she's upbeat," she said. "If you do allow Jessie to speak for you and your videos, I say thank you. I'm happy to do it."

TikTok started using Callaghan's voice last year after another voice actress, Beverly Standing, filed a lawsuit against TikTok saying it used her voice without permission. Her lawsuit said her voice on TikTok could cause her "irreparable harm" because creators could use it to say offensive things. TikTok agreed to settle the lawsuit with Standing last September.

After Callaghan's voice started taking over, she said creators had "mixed" and "some negative reactions," to the new voice.

"So I was perfectly fine kind of sitting back and being like, 'Let's see how people use it,'" she said.

Callaghan, who started her own voiceover business in 2015, said her work with TikTok is her biggest deal to date.

"It's been really, really cool working with TikTok," she said.

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