Original Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor has responded to the allegations, in regards to her ongoing public dispute with developer Platinum Games. “It has come to my attention that some people are calling me a liar and a gold digger. I feel the need to defend myself and my reputation in the industry,” she said on Twitter, amid the controversy surrounding her “insulting” payment offer to voice the character in the upcoming Bayonetta 3, out October 28, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.
Last week, Taylor posted a series of video tweets explaining why she didn’t voice the beloved character in the newest Bayonetta 3. She vented her frustration publicly, claiming that she was only paid $4,000 (about Rs. 3,31,000) to voice Umbra Witch Bayonetta. She rejected the offer and urged fans to boycott the game and instead donate the sum to charity, in a viral video that has garnered 10.4 million views to date. Understandably, this has led to online discussions about adequate pay for such jobs, and a wave of backlash for new voice actress Jennifer Hale – best known for her roles as Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series and Samus Aram from Metroid Prime.
“They now have a new girl voicing her. And I love actors, I wish her all the joy in the world,” she said in a follow-up tweet. “But she has no right to say that she is the voice of Bayonetta. I created this voice. She doesn’t have the right to sign merchandise as Bayonetta, just as I don’t have the right to sign as Eva Green, even though I was her parrot in The Golden Compass video game.
Thereafter, Jason Schreier of Bloomberg and Andy Robinson of VGC cited various documentation sources claiming that Taylor was paid at least $15,000 (about Rs. 12,40,000) for her appearance in the sequel. The amount stands in stark contrast to Taylor’s original statement, with Platinum Games looking to sign her for at least five sessions, lasting four hours each in the studio. She would be paid ₹3,000 (about Rs. 2,48,000) to ₹4,000 for each session. So even if you take the lowest amount and multiply it by five days of work, that’s $15,000.
Last weekend, the former Bayonetta voice actress urged fans to boycott the new game, saying she was only offered $4,000 to work on it. Videos of her on Twitter went viral and sparked a debate over voice actor salaries. But the full story is much more complicated… https://t.co/qPa8grfCtq
—Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 18, 2022
Taylor has now come out on Twitter, trying to defend herself from being labeled a liar. “As I posted in part three of my video thread. I explained that their first offer was too low. That offer was 10,000 (about Rs. 8,27,000) USD in total. Remember, this is a $450 million franchise (not counting merchandise),” she said. Taylor claims he even wrote a letter to Bayonetta 3 director Hideki Kamiya asking how much her contribution was worth. However, in the original video, when reviewing the discussion with Kamiya, the number of 10,000 was never explicitly mentioned.
“I thought as a creative he would understand. He responded by saying how much he valued my contribution to the game and how much the fans wanted me to voice the game. I was then offered an extra 5,000!” she adds, bringing the amount to $15,000. Unimpressed with the offer, Taylor claims to have refused to voice the game, until 11 months later, when she was offered a final “flat fee” of $4,000. “Any other lies like 4,000 for 5 sessions are total fabrications,” she explained.
Recalling past work with the developer, she concluded by saying, “I was paid a shockingly low £3,000 (about Rs. 3,75,000) in total for the first game. A little more for the second. I wanted to give her a voice. I’ve sparked interest in this game since I started on Twitter in 2011.”
Last week, new Bayonetta voice actress Jennifer Hale posted a statement on twitter, expressing hope that everyone involved “can resolve their differences in an amicable and respectful manner.” Platinum Games also released a declarationsupporting Hale in the upcoming game and asking fans to refrain from making disrespectful comments to the actress.
Bayonetta 3 launches on October 28, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.