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UPDATE: Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya has seemingly responded to Taylor’s claim via Twitter, posting the following: “Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now. By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.” Shortly thereafter, Kamiya deactivated his Twitter account, but it has since returned.

You can see our original post on this matter below.

We learned recently that Bayonetta’s original voice actor Hellena Taylor would not be reprising her role in the upcoming Bayonetta 3. Instead, she’ll be replaced by veteran voice actor Jennifer Hale. Platinum Games’ Yusuke Miyata clarified the change, stating that “various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role.” Unfortunately, it seems that there are more sinister things going on behind the scenes than that. This was brought to our attention by Hellena Taylor herself in a series of videos posted to her Twitter account:

In the videos, Taylor explains that the reason she declined to return as Bayonetta is because Platinum Games only offered her $4,000 USD as a flat fee for the entire job. This is a shockingly low offer considering that the Bayonetta games have made approximately $450 million in sales, as noted by Taylor herself. She goes on to say that she was originally asked to re-audition for the part and passed “with flying colors”, but only received the indicated offer which she describes as “insulting”.

As a result of all this, Taylor is asking fans to boycott Bayonetta 3. She suggests fans take the money they would have spent on the game and donate it to charity instead. She also states that while she supports voice actors of all kinds, she believes her replacement Jennifer Hale “has no right to say she is the voice of Bayonetta”.

This is certainly a troubling turn of events and one that will no doubt darken the upcoming release of Bayonetta 3 on October 28th. It remains to be seen if Taylor will be successful in her efforts to get fans to boycott the game. Regardless, this story will hopefully shine some light on the mistreatment of voice actors in the video game industry. At this time, there has been no response from Platinum Games or anyone else involved with Bayonetta 3.

You can click here to watch all four videos posted on Hellena Taylor’s Twitter account and get the full context.

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Comments (34)

Most Upvoted

haleman1704

No proof, as I thought.
You are making up dramas from situations you know nothing about, that is not good.
You are very active here, but really have to be careful what you are saying.
You know nothing about what happens behind the scenes, just like everybody here, but you are talking like you do. I don't like that.

sligeach_eire

2M ago

Read this earlier. I feel sorry for Hellena. There's actually 4 videos in her Twitter account. She's not the first voice actor to be disrespected, and she won't be the last. Just ask Charles Martinet about a certain upcoming computer animated Super Mario Bros. movie.


haleman1704

2M ago

@sligeach_eire

You have any proof that Charles Martinet has been disrespected? Or are you making any unproven assumptions?


sligeach_eire

2M ago

@haleman1704

Any proof? The guy voice acted Mario and other characters for 30 years. But he's not seen as good enough or a big box office draw to voice Mario for the movie. Charles could have adjusted the voice of Mario had Nintendo and Illumination asked, that's his profession. Chris Pratt sounds like his usual self and you can be sure he's getting paid a hell of a lot more than $4,000. It was nice though of Nintendo to give Charles a "cameo" role. Some people on this site, I don't know.

Edited 1 time

haleman1704

2M ago

@sligeach_eire

No proof, as I thought.
You are making up dramas from situations you know nothing about, that is not good.
You are very active here, but really have to be careful what you are saying.
You know nothing about what happens behind the scenes, just like everybody here, but you are talking like you do. I don't like that.


sligeach_eire

2M ago

@quence

Just a correction on a number quoted. The Bayonetta franchise has made $450 million, not $350 million, according to Hellena Taylor.


sligeach_eire

2M ago

What does Kamiya mean with "BEWARE OF MY RULES"? If he's referring to the NDA, Hellena has said, "I'm not afraid of a non-disclosure agreement. I can't even afford to run a car. What are they going to do, take my clothes? Good luck to them!"


Thanks, fixed that number as well as the number of videos!


the_crimson_lure

2M ago

Interesting development.

On the one hand, it sounds like voice actors often get shafted by companies, and I'm sure it's a horrible experience

On the other, I get a lot of insultingly low offers in my line of work, too. And when that happens I politely decline and move on. Going on Twitter and calling for fans to boycott the product isn't professional, and surely won't help you in trying to find future work with other companies in the same industry.

More respect needs to be paid to voice actors, but I don't think this is the best way to try and bring about change.


aussiemcbucket

2M ago

@the_crimson_lure

Good points. This seems a sensible and fair insight.


mike_intellivision

2M ago

While the offer seems low, it may be to “scale” - at least based on information available on line about voice actor salaries.

What is not known is how much work was expected - and if this was for all versions or just the English sound/voice track.

I do wonder, given how drastic this action was, what else is involved in this story. We don’t know what we don’t know. And the actor has not been active (in movies, TV, or voice work) for eight years according to IMDB.


malikhalo

2M ago

As decorated as Jennifer Hale is, I'd be very surprised if she worked for such a low wage, either.

Feels like they made Hellena audition with every intention to hire her again as a pretense to offer her so little.


cassiel

2M ago

So let's see how reality is thought. $4000 for something like some hours of work? Based on the following that's way too much: "Experienced video game voice actors will receive $200 to $350 an hour or $50 to $200 per 100 words for their video game voice acting work. Novice voice actors earn between $1 and $5 per 100 words. Video game voice actors are also eligible for bonuses up to $2,100."

Edited 4 times

enthropy

2M ago

OK! After the fall of Babylon P* Games sure don't need more negative PR. Especially if they want to do the entire independent studio thing. Be careful now, Plat!

Her reaction is pretty extreme. I mean I get it, she IS Bayonetta and all us Bayo fans LOVE her VA. So sassy and all. And she also truly seems saddened, but going to twitter to ask fans to boycott the game and all that when under NDA is going to backfire big time on her. Careful, Helena!

There are rumours and speculation that Bayo 3 has a lower budget than 2 and that could of course be one reason for the insulting pay. Thre's just so much to grind in my mind now... How much DO VAs earn anyway?

Gotta admit that the new VA did do a great job. Not the same but she got pretty darn close.

The gaming industry, as any industry, is harsh. We all know that by now. There have been maaany stories from Japan where shit got insane, but it's global thing to do all you can to earn as much as you can in all industries (a lot wants more). Gotta fight back somehow, but doing that when very furious might not be the best approach.

Anyway! I already paid for the game and wouldn't boycott it anyway. Still super excited, but I do want to hear what "the other side" has to say about this. It IS annoying after all. There's always two sides to a story and then there's the video footage.


It'd be one thing if it was just *a* job. For it to be the third game in a series where you've already done the first two, get lowballed, and then impersonated by an inferior copycat instead, that's a whole different ball of wax. She has every right to feel this way and to air her grievances.


jake_a

2M ago

It's your choice whether you want to buy Bayo 3 or not but at least have some empathy. I've seen way too many people trying to tear her down.


lucius6

2M ago

Good luck to the lady in standing up for her work and trying for a better wage but if I didn't buy games where someone felt aggrieved by the decisions of the company making or publishing them I'd own about 4 games....


the utility man

2M ago

Really not a fan of the author shoving their opinion into the article, especially writing the title the way they did to claim it as fact.


ninjablaze

2M ago

Not wanting to pay more than $4k to have the current actor reprise their role for the third game in their big series, yet hiring the most decorated and venerated female VA in the entire industry to replace her...doesn't pass the sniff test. sorry. Hale wouldn't do this for $4k, and if they did have it in the budget to pay what getting Hale involved costs, it would have been cheaper to just keep Taylor.

there's something else going on here, and this clearly isn't the full story.


sligeach_eire

2M ago

@haleman1704

"No proof, as I thought."

I gave you the proof. Everyone has the proof. Is Charles Martinet, the person who voiced Mario in every game for the past 30 years, voicing Mario in his first computer animated cinema release? The guy who signed countless autographs, went to countless official functions, etc? No, he is not.

And I'm not saying this is on Nintendo. Bigwigs at Universal would have put pressure on Nintendo to choose an A list actor, though whether Chris Pratt is A list material is highly debatable. This Mario movie is no different than countless other animated features starring celebrities.

Charles Martinet played the role Nintendo asked of him for the voice of Mario. He could easily have changed it, and it would be far better for a feature length movie, than the usual soundbites we get in game. Charles never stood a chance of getting the lead role because of Hollywood. But I'm sure he does feel slighted(not to mention financially), he's not going to say it in public though, because he knows where his bread is buttered.

It is weird though and contradictory. Are they going to use Chris Pratt's voice for some of the attractions at Super Nintendo World at the Universal theme parks? We're kind of heading into uncharted waters here, from what we're used to.


linktheviking

2M ago

@sligeach_eire

There’s a HUGE difference voicing the sound bites for Mario and Co compared to a full 90+ minute movie. Not to mention all the different language dubs that wouldn’t use Martinet.

“But I'm sure he does feel slighted”
You have no idea. Don’t put words in people’s mouths.

Edited 2 times

sligeach_eire

2M ago

@linktheviking

"Don’t put words in people’s mouths."

I didn't. I gave MY opinion. And I said also that this is far different than the soundbites we got of Mario in the games. I wouldn't want to listen to that either for 90 minutes. Charles is a professional voice actor, he could easily make changes, big or small to the voice of Mario. But Hollywood wants big Hollywood actors for the lead roles. Charles Martinet is reduced to a cameo for the movie.


thegreatking

2M ago

@jake_a

Yeah like she did to the new voice actor. Besides she wast robbed, she just didnt took a job. End of it


thegreatking

2M ago

So she was offered money for a job she didnt take the job and now wants everybody to boycot the game and the new voice actress who did took the job and make it without complaoning? I think she is just jealous and making a tantrum, very unprpfesional, also nobody is gonna hire her again. Career ending move. Also she just gave more sales to the game with her boyccot


stephane_akumajou_fr

2M ago

@sligeach_eire

I totally agree with you.
I see only 2 logical explanations here. Either as RMC guessed (didn't he have access to the movie script when it supposedly leaked online at some point by the way?) the movie starts in the real world so they needed someone who could be impersonating Mario, and as far as I know Charles is just a voice actor and not a live actor, so his legitimacy could be questioned... Or plain and simple, Illumination works with Universal, and Universal has a big contract with Pratt thanks to the Jurassic World franchise worldwide success, and agreed to prioritize him for any upcoming movie offers. I don't know anything about the show business world, but since money rules everything, I totally could see this happening this way.


sdsichero

2M ago

Oof. I can see her being upset about the pay, but to say that Taylor cannot be Bayo? That's… not cool.