TikTok has become quite a popular name in the news in 2021 – but not always for good reasons. The company and Bev Standing, the voice actress behind the app’s first text-to-speech voice, finally reached a settlement. If you recall, Standing brought a lawsuit against TikTok in May for using her voice without permission. The two parties reached an “amicable resolution”, as Standing’s lawyer, Robert Sciglimpaglia, stated.
At the moment, the settlement is still being finalized and details around payment can not be disclosed. Sciglimpaglia said TikTok would license Standing’s voice as part of the agreement. However, it is up to TikTok whether or not to use it. More details should surface in the following weeks.
Even though TikTok never confirmed that Bev Standing was indeed behind their original text-to-speech voice, they did change their text-to-speech voice two weeks after the original lawsuit. The actress complained about how her voice was used to repeat “foul and offensive language” typed in by users. Surely, Standing never imagined her voice would be one of the most popular features of the app.
In all cases, this saga had some mystery right from the start. Apparently, some strange mixup led to Standing’s voice falling into the hands of TikTok in the first place. Standing said that she made recordings for a text-to-speech feature “several years ago”, but only meant for translations of Chinese texts. Nobody else should have had access to them. Nevertheless, her voice seems to have made its way to TikTok, where it became a well-liked feature of the app.
At the time she filed her lawsuit against TikTok, Bev Standing already knew the consequences. “No matter what I do, I believe this is going to affect my business,” she told The Telegraph.