Game

Voice actress Bayonetta calls for game boycott of ‘offensive’ pay


Bayonetta from Bayonetta 3, reaching for the camera.

Screenshots: PlatinumGames / Nintendo

In early October, Japanese developer PlatinumGames, known for action games, told Game informant Switch exclusive coming soon Bayonetta 3 won’t see voice actress Hellena Taylor reprize her iconic hot role as the title character. Instead, Bayonetta’s English VA will now be Jennifer Hale, one of the industry’s most popular voice actresses, who is known for roles like Commander Shepard. At the time, Platinum stated that the replacement was due to “multiple overlapping circumstances” that made it “difficult” for Hellena to play Bayonetta again. More than a week later, Taylor took to social media to dispute Platinum’s account, suggesting that the studio wasn’t completely transparent about what really happened.

Instead of losing the role because Hale was the better actor, or due to scheduling conflicts, Taylor claimed that it was overpaid. In a series of videos, Taylor went on to say that Platinum only seemed to offer her $4,000 for the entire gig, based on the trailers. appeared to show top VA voicing multiple versions of the same character. For Taylor, who spent years in apprenticeship and undeniably produced one of the most memorable performances in the entire medium, the offer was taken as insulting.

“We held auditions to choose the new voice of Bayonetta and recommended the role to Jennifer Hale, who we felt was a good fit for the character,” said game director Yusuke Miyata. Game informant at that time. “I understand some fans’ concerns about the voice change at this point in the series, but Jennifer’s performance was beyond what we could have imagined. I’m confident that her role as Bayonetta will exceed fans’ expectations. ” Based on Game informantStory of the story, the publication found that Hale’s performance was virtually indistinguishable from Taylor’s.

But Taylor called the whole situation, while legal, “immoral.”

“Sometimes think I’m not like Bayonetta at all,” Taylor said in a video regarding her decision to speak out about what’s going on. “But I guess I’m a bit more like Bayonetta than I thought.

“I understand that boycotting this game is a personal choice, and there are people who won’t,” she continued. “And that’s fine. But if you’re someone who cares about people, cares about the world around you, who cares who gets hurt with these financial decisions? Then I urge you to boycott this game.”

Taylor was originally cast as the bullet time witch in the popular 2009 action game, and reprized her role for the series in the 2014 sequel. Nintendo’s best modern.

“I decided to do it to stand in solidarity with people all over the world who are not being properly paid for their talent,” Taylor continued, possibly in part related to Wider movement in dubbing right now has seen key roles replaced as performers vie for better pay through unions..

She said: “The fat cats blew the head off and left us with crumbs, before noting that her inability to earn a living wage from the industry had left her depressed and worried. As she said, after being underestimated, she wrote to Hideki Kamiya, game executive, to plead her case. She stated that he acknowledges how important she is to the role and how much it means to fans. But the offer still seems to be $4,000.

“I was worried that I would have to go out,” she said of not being able to pay a living wage. “It scared me so much that I once committed suicide. I’m not afraid of nondisclosure agreements. I can’t even afford to run a car. What are they going to do, take my clothes? Good luck to them.”

Nintendo, Bayonetta 3publisher, and Taylor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And while PlatinumGames has not released an official statement on the matter, Kamiya himself appeared to reply on Twitter.

“Sad and reprehensible attitude of dishonesty,” he wrote. “That’s all I can say for now.”

But more clearly, he ended the note by typing, “By the way, BE CAREFUL MY RULES.” As far as anyone can tell, this seems to be related to using Twitter, where infamously Kamiya is said to block people left and right. To wit, his headline image is just a series of posts where he warns “insects”, especially foreign languages ​​like English, that he has or will block them . And his pinned Twitter post is a series of “rules” that, if broken, he warns people will lead to congestion. “MY BLOCK BUTTON IS BIGGER THAN EVER,” it read.

Guaranteed enough, people and even publications reporting on Bayonetta 3 The current dub situation seemed to be forbidden by Kamiya using a hammer. Meanwhile, the other voice actors are enamored with their anecdotes and experiences. Sean Chiplock, who voices Revali in Breath of the Wild, another game released by Nintendo, claims he was only paid around $2,000 to $3,000 for his role because it was based on hours in the studio. But he notes that this money is largely due to him voicing three different characters, not one.

Taylor says in her videos: “Bayonetta has always stood for those with less power and advocated for what is right. “And in doing this, you stand with her,” she said of the player’s decision to boycott the game. In the video, Taylor also wishes Hale, the new Bayonetta, all the best. But she still has harsh words to say about what taking on the role of Bayonetta will mean for her.

“But she has no right to say that she is the voice of Bayonetta, I made that voice,” Taylor said. “She does not have the right to sign the goods as Bayonetta, moreover I have the right to sign as Eva Green even though I am her parent on The Golden Compass video game. That betrayal was hers, and hers alone. They will probably try and do a side game with Jeanne. Don’t buy that either.”

The last video that Taylor shared was entirely geared towards Nintendo, PlatinumGames, and “fat cats” in general. It’s a retelling of the beggar Lazarus, from the bible, and a larger critique of morality that comes with an emphasis on money over people.

Bayonetta 3 will release for Nintendo Switch on October 28.

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