March 25, 2023

At the weekend, in a shocking series of videos shared on Twitter, Hellena Taylor, Bayonetta’s original voice actor, shared that the reason she didn’t come back Bayonetta 3 was due to an “offensive” offer for the role. That’s why she’s asking fans to boycott the game, which comes out on October 28.

On October 15, the voice actor posted three videos to Twitter sharing her story, detailing her years of experience and training. “And what did they think this was worth?” she said in the video. “The last offer to do the whole game” […] was $4,000 dollars.”

Taylor called the offer “an insult to me” and asked fans to boycott the game and donate the money they planned to spend on Bayonetta 3 to charity. In subsequent videos, Taylor said she made this statement to show solidarity “with people around the world who are not being paid well for their talents.” She spoke about the effect the offer was having on her and her mental health, she was concerned about the loss of her housing and thoughts of suicide.

Taylor’s reveal comes in a climate where voice actors are increasingly sharing how little they are paid to voice some of the entertainment industry’s hottest characters. Anairis Quinones revealed on Twitter she only got $150 to voice Rika Orimoto in the popular anime Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Other voice actors voiced similar concerns on Twitter, sharing that voice work is consistently underpaid, even at major studios refusing to work with union contracts that would ensure that voice actors have certain protections.

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In her videos, Taylor further explained how there is a cost of living crisis in her native Britain that “Nurses going to food banks to feed their childrenwhile “fat cats skim the top and leave us the rotten crumbs.” Taylor noted that, by her estimate, the bayonetta franchise has earned $450 million.

The edge has contacted Nintendo, which publishes the game, and Taylor for an official comment, but has not heard from either. However, seemingly in response to Taylor’s videos, Hideki Kamiya, the bayonetta series creator at studio PlatinumGames, tweeted“Sad and regrettable about the attitude of untruth. That’s all I can say now. By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.”

In her videos, Taylor said she is not afraid of potential legal action regarding a nondisclosure violation, as she “can’t even afford a car” and that she had written to Kamiya herself to express her displeasure. She said his response seemed like a compliment to her skills and fans were eager for her to return to the role and then offer her the $4,000 prize. In an early stage October interview with Game Informergame director Yusuke Miyata said it was “several overlapping circumstances” that kept Taylor from reprising her role.

Taylor wished all the best for Bayonetta’s new voice Jennifer Hale, best known for her work as Commander Shepard in Mass effect. It’s somewhat ironic that Hale is Taylor’s replacement, given Hale’s numerous video game credits, including: overwatch and Ratchet & Clank as well as her countless animated TV and movie roles means she would probably have an even higher salary than Taylor. Hale has not commented on the situation, but has liked several tweets praising Taylor’s work advocating for voice acting, as well as tweets suggesting she cannot comment for NDA reasons and that she may not have known Taylor’s situation at the time. she accepted the role.

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Taylor explained that she understood people who don’t want to participate in a boycott, but urged those who care about how people are treated to spend their money elsewhere.

“Bayonetta always stands up for those with less power and you stand next to her.”