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'Dora the Explorer' Actress -- Nickelodeon Lied to Me!

10/12/2010 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The little girl who voiced Dora on "Dora the Explorer" says she has audio proof that Nickelodeon bigwigs are lying to the press about why they fired her from the show ... claiming the puberty excuse is pure BS. 

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Nickelodeon claims they recently fired Caitlin Sanchez from "Dora" because "Caitlin's voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character."

But Caitlin's mom Hilda tells TMZ Nickelodeon's Vice President of Communications left her a voicemail in July, 2010 insisting the network wanted to continue using her daughter to voice Dora until 2012 ... and never hinted about a problem with Caitlin's voice.

In fact, in the recording, the exec tells Hilda, "We just wanted to reiterate to you ... that we are very excited about continuing to work with Caitlin."


The message continues, "She’s the face and voice for the next, basically, two years ... we have no plans of making that any different."

After she was let go, Caitlin filed a lawsuit against Nick -- claiming they made her sign a bad deal in 2007, screwing her out of millions of dollars. Caitlin's mom believes Nick concocted the puberty excuse to "discredit" Caitlin's legal claims.

Sources connected to the dispute tell us, "Cailtin was notified on June 30 that she would no longer voice the character."

A rep for Nick tells us, "The conversation in question with the Nickelodeon press department was in specific reference to public and PR appearances. It was clearly not about portraying the voice of the character for the television show."

The rep adds, "The Nickelodeon statement we released last week is unquestionably accurate."
26 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

No comment    

Wow people she is a young girl, stop with all the trash talking. Lawsuits happen all the time in industy. Dora brings in millions in revenue. Because she is behind the camera using her voice they fired her rather than renegotiate in good faith. Many shows doing well give bounus' to their stars.

1370 days ago
17.

ManiacalZebra    

She signed the contract as it was because she knew if she didn't, they would hire someone else to do it, and she'd get nothing. She's just trying to scam them, as they might have scammed her. They deserve each other.

1370 days ago
18.

CarolynAB    

Wake up, people.
How can the above poster claim Caitlin Sanchez did "nothing" to further Dora's popularity over the years? The show has been a hit, thanks in large part due to her efforts. The "Housewives," "Jersey Shore" and numerous other actors and TV talents have ripped up contracts and demanded more money.
This has the stench of child exploitation all over it. Hell, even FISHERMEN ("Deadliest Catch") are holding out for more.
Also, Latinos are growing in influence and power. "Soy tu Duena" has landed in the top-ten ratings for weeks, an unprecedented breakthrough as people look for alternatives to the assembly line network shows.
Man up, Nickelodeon, and settle this lawsuit ASAP. You know she makes legitimate claims.

1370 days ago
19.

Joao    

Move on, at this point you'll never know what the game plan was. I must say I honestly doubt that they were going to use her in the capacity of Dora for two years. You think her voice changed, try to explain how Dora has "developed". Then the poor girl would have to concoct something to push those down, and talk like she's a seven year old.. it just would have been a mess for her developmentally.

I understand that the parents anticipated a significant income coming in, but they shot themselves in the foot with the lawsuit. They would have been better advised to continue an open channel relationship and work with the production company to find other work. Now she's a hot tamale that nobody is going to want to touch.

sorry, those are the breaks... It's called Hollywood, one moment you're in and then the next moment you're out (or was that fashion - Project Runway)

1370 days ago
20.

lw    

Adults WAY older than this kid do the voices of cartoon children all the time. Both Bart Simpson's and Lisa Simpson's voices come from middle-aged women. I find it hard to believe that this girl's age was a factor.

If Nickelodeon wanted to look in another direction, then they should have just said that. That would be legitimate unless they were in direct violation of a legal contract.

1370 days ago
21.

Jim Ho    

Isn't Dora an Illegal Alien anyway? Or maybe she's an anchor baby.
In either case, stay out of Arizona.

1370 days ago
22.

Josh    

Too old for Dora, too young for porn. What a dilemma. I'm gonna lose sleep over this one. Oh! Pretzel nuggets are done. Gotta go.

1370 days ago
23.

jwoolman    

Nickelodeon does have a habit of replacing child voice actors frequently - they went through several Arnold's, for example, although I'm not sure why since he was always voiced as rather gravely. But Nickelodeon's "thing" is that they like to have kids play the roles rather than the usual adult voice actors who can go on forever playing kids.

The real kids voicing the Backyardigans (two for each character - one for singing, one for speaking) have also been replaced several times in the US version (I think some other countries use adults). Same for Charlie and Lola (run on Disney, I think produced in the UK). In at least one case, the C&L replacement was a younger sibling of the original actor, which certainly helped in matching voices...

But I should point out that the girl who voiced Lilo in the Lilo & Stitch movies and tv series (Disney) managed quite well to continue voicing Lilo even as she herself grew up. So with girls in particular, the voice acting in roles of young children doesn't have to end with puberty. A good voice actor can adjust the voice upward. Lilo's voice was so distinctive, though, it might have been rather difficult to match it.

1370 days ago
24.

Diane    

Can someone explain to me why the vice president of communications can't put together an articulate sentence? Because ya know, they are looking forward to like working with her.

1369 days ago
25.

Nicole    

what do you expect of bigwigs from nick , for them to tell the truth , yeah good luck with that , i hope she wins her lawsuit

1367 days ago
26.

Katherine    

This girl is a VOICE-OVER actor. They don't make half what a live action actor makes. Why is this an issue? Obviously she is not the first Dora or the last. She should receive compensation and royalties for the episodes she voiced only and absolutely no part of any merchandise that does not feature her voice as she is NOT the face of Dora but just the voice for a couple of years. Considering that $5000 is what an adult makes in two months of full time work, she is lucky and well-paid.

1363 days ago
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