Bayonetta voice actress insulted by $5,700 pay, calls for boycott of game

When news surfaced that Hellena Taylor, the original voice actress for Bayonetta, will not be reprising her role in Bayonetta 3, studio Platinum Games claimed that the reason was due to “various overlapping circumstances”.

In her stead, Jennifer Hale, who’s known for roles like Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series, was picked to voice the character.

But it seems there’s more at play behind the scenes.

Over a week later, Taylor took to Twitter to reveal the actual reason behind her departure, claiming in a series of videos that Platinum only offered her US$4,000 (S$5,700) for the entirety of her performance, which would appear to include voicing multiple versions of the same character.

“The Bayonetta franchise made an approximated US$450 million,” she said, “and that’s not including merchandise. As an actor I trained for a total of seven and a half years – three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts with voice coach Barbara Berkery, and four and a half years with the legendary Larry Moss in Los Angeles.

“And what did they think this was worth? What did they offer to pay me? The final offer to do the whole game – as a buyout, flat rate – was US$4,000.

“This is an insult to me, the amount of time that I took to work on my talent, and everything that I have given to this game and the fans. I am asking the fans to boycott this game and instead spend the money that you would have spent on this game, donate it to charity.”

While Platinum Games has yet to issue an official statement, game director Hideki Kamiya, who has now returned to Twitter after his account was deleted, was quick to shut Taylor down on Twitter.

“Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now,” he said in an indirect response. He later added a one-liner that reads, “By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES,” which only acted as the catalyst to incite furore and boycotted response.

The note is an evident reference to his pinned post, where Kamiya lists a bunch of rules (some more ridiculous than others), which, if broken, will lead to being blocked. This isn’t a new thing for people who are in the know – the man is infamous for blocking people left and right, and naturally, he exhibited the same behaviour here.

After mass blocking plenty of users, Twitter then stepped in to suspend his account, sparking many more responses from the community, including this from Twitter user @rabbidluigi: “The “Hideki Kamiya blocks everyone” plot twist that no one saw coming”.

Kamiya’s account then got deleted on Oct 16, with profile visitors getting a “This account doesn’t exist” message. It remains unknown whether he deleted it himself, or if it was forcefully removed by the platform.

That would have marked the end of the fiasco, except that the man managed to recover his account earlier today (Oct 17) with a two-word caption that translates roughly to “resurrection”.

Nintendo has also yet to issue an official response on the matter, but it’s indeed disturbing if everything that has been revealed is accurate.

May this also be a lesson to the industry to pay their talents and employees with the respect and wages that they deserve.

ALSO READ: Explainer: #BoycottBlizzard after Hearthstone player banned for Hong Kong protest statement

This article was first published in Geek Culture.


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