Original Bayonetta voice actor didn’t reprise role after “insulting” pay offer for Bayonetta 3

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Hellena Taylor, the original voice actor behind Bayonetta, has taken to Twitter to explain why she has not reprised the role for Bayonetta 3. Taylor was initially given an “insulting offer” after re-auditioning for the part, before a final offer was given to do the whole game for $4000 USD.

Noting that the franchise has made over $450 million to date, she goes on to ask Switch gamers to boycott the game and donate to charity instead.

PlatinumGames had recently confirmed that there had been a change in actors for the leading role in the long-awaited sequel. Jennifer Hale, best known in video games for ‘FemShep’ in the Mass Effect series and as Rivet in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, is playing Bayonetta in Bayonetta 3. It’s not known what Hale has been paid for the role.

The change was explained away as being down to conflicting schedules for Taylor, but she refutes this – “I actually had nothing but time” she says.

Game Director on the original Bayonetta and PlatinumGames Vice President Hideki Kamiya has seemingly hit back at Taylor’s claims, saying “Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth.” – the all-caps rules he refers to are about only messaging him in Japanese on Twitter. While not directing the third game, Taylor states that her improved offer of $4000 only came after writing to him in Japanese and receiving a response saying that he valued her contributions to the game.

There’s clearly a very real attachment to the character for Taylor, and she goes on to say that while she wishes Hale “the best luck in the world, but she’s not the voice of Bayonetta. I created that voice. She has no right to sign merchandise as Bayonetta, any more than I have the right to sign as Eva Green even though I was her parrot in the video game The Golden Campus.”

This has turned into an extremely bitter and public dispute, just before Bayonetta 3 is launched later this month. The main thing that we are missing is what an equitable pay offer would be and the context surrounding the differences between just voice acting and full performance capture, between minor roles and leading roles, and the amount of time that would have been spent in the studio recording. We do have the general expectation from TV and film that actor pay will increase as sequels and later seasons are made, but what was Taylor paid for the first two games?

“I was just asking for a decent and dignified living wage,” Taylor says. “What they did was legal, but it was immoral.”

Source: Twitter [Taylor, Kamiya]

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2 Comments

  1. That is awful treatment.

  2. What an awful company, well done to her for speaking out about their behaviour.

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