Former Bayonetta 3 voice actor Hellena Taylor has released a new thread of tweets clarifying some of what she said in regards to Platinum Games’ “immoral” compensation offer to return to voice the titular character in the threequel. These tweets follow a report from Bloomberg that refuted Taylor’s original claims and added clarification from sources as to how Jennifer Hale, the new Bayonetta voice actor, came about getting the role. They also follow a statement released by Platinum Games that essentially asks the community to support Hale and her statement.
In Taylor’s thread, released October 24, the voice actor says that she feels “the need to defend myself and my reputation in the industry” since “some people are calling me a liar and a golddigger.”
Originally, Taylor said she was only offered $4,000 to return to voice Bayonetta in Bayonetta 3, which hits Switch this Friday. Now, she says that the “first offer” that “was too low” was $10,000 total. She then cites again that Bayonetta is a “450 million dollar franchise (not counting merchandise),” a claim some in the industry have refuted. Neither Nintendo nor Platinum Games have released information confirming that Bayonetta is a franchise worth almost half a billion dollars. Following the $10,000 offer, Taylor writes that she wrote, in Japanese, to Hideki Kamiya to ask what she was worth.
“I thought as a creative, he would understand,” she writes in a tweet. “He replied 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 $5,0000!”
Taylor’s tweet says “$5,0000,” which is equivalent to $50,000, but it’s clear Taylor meant $5,000, bringing the total up to $15,000. She says she then declined to voice the game and heard nothing from Platinum Games for 11 months. The studio then offered her a $4,000 flat fee to voice some lines in the game, she writes on Twitter, also adding that “any other lies, such as 4,000 for 5 sessions are total fabrications,” alluding to Bloomberg’s reporting.
“There were not ‘extensive negotiations,'” her tweet reads. “I’ve also been informed of ridiculous fictions, such as I asked for 250,000 dollars. I am a team player. I was just asking for a fair, living wage in line with the value that I bring to this game. I was paid a shockingly low total of £3000 total for the first game. A little more for the second. I wanted to voice her. I have drummed up interest in this game ever since I started on Twitter in 2011.”
The original story and subsequent updates continue below…
Bayonetta 3 developer Platinum Games, the studio former Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor accused of low-balling with “immoral” compensation (which has since been disputed by Bloomberg reporting – see original story below), has responded to the ongoing voice actor controversy surrounding its game. The studio does not directly address any claims made by Taylor, instead opting to voice its support of new Bayonetta voice actor and Taylor’s replacement, Jennifer Hale.
Here is Platinum Games’ statement, in full:
The original story continues below…
Original Story, 10/19/22:
Over the past weekend, former Bayonetta voice actor, Hellena Taylor, released a Twitter thread of videos explaining why she did not return to voice the titular character, saying she was only offered $4,000 to perform in the game.
Taylor was replaced by famed voice actor Jennifer Hale, best known for roles such as female Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series and hero Ashe in the Overwatch franchise. Bayonetta developer Platinum Games told Game Informer in our cover story coverage this change happened due to “various overlapping circumstances.” Taylor was quiet on the issue, and many presumed this was due to non-disclosure agreements common in the video game industry. However, on October 15, she released multiple videos explaining that she was offered “immoral” compensation, whipping the internet and Bayonetta fandom into a flurry of anger toward Platinum.
According to Bloomberg’s sources who have knowledge of these events and how they played out, Platinum was determined to rehire Taylor to voice Bayonetta. The studio offered her $3000 to $4000 per session to voice the character, with plans for at least five sessions consisting of four hours in the voice recording studio (VGC’s sources said it could have been as few as four sessions, though). Bloomberg also viewed documentation to further confirm these negotiations. One of VGC’s sources told the publication that this offer, which would have totaled around $15,000, was a significant increase compared to what she received for Bayonetta 2.
In response to this, Taylor reportedly requested a six-figure payment and residuals on the game. Platinum declined this counteroffer and, after the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement, began holding auditions for a new voice actor. Hale was given the role. Bloomberg reports that Platinum later offered Taylor a cameo in the game, with payment for one session, but she turned it down.
Taylor told Bloomberg in an email that this recounting of events was “an absolute lie” and that Platinum was “trying to save their ass and the game.”
“I would like to put this whole bloody franchise behind me quite frankly [and] get on with my life in the theatre,” she wrote in the email, according to Bloomberg. Neither Platinum nor Nintendo returned requests for comment from the publication. Taylor echoed similar sentiments to VGC in private messages, according to the publication’s story.
Bayonetta 3 hits Switch on October 28.