Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor has shared that she didn’t reprise the role for Bayonetta 3 as she was offered only $4,000 to do so. Furthermore, she has asked fans to boycott the game and donate to charity instead.
Taylor took to Twitter to share a few videos of her speaking to a camera and share her side of the story following the announcement that Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale would be replacing her in Bayonetta 3. Taylor has voiced the character since the original game, and couldn’t stay silent anymore after how she was treated.
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 15, 2022
“The Bayonetta franchise made an approximated $450 million, and that’s not including merchandise,” Taylor began. “As an actor, I trained for a total of seven and a half years – three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Lambda 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 $4,000 USD.
“This is an insult to me. The amount of time I took to work on my talent, and everything that I have given to this game and to the fans. I am asking the fans to boycott this game and instead spend the money that you would have spent on this game donating to charity. I didn’t want the world. I didn’t ask for too much. I was just asking for a decent, dignified, living wage. What they did was legal, but it was immoral.”
She continued to share that many know she is “more a lover than a fighter,” and that many may not see her as Bayonetta in real life. However, she has realized she is more like the character than she knew.
“I understand that boycotting this game is a personal choice and there are those that won’t, and that’s fine. But, if you are someone who cares about people, who cares about the world around you, who cares about who gets hurt with these financial decisions, then I urge you to boycott this game,” Taylor said. “I decided to do it to stand up in solidarity with people all over the world who do not get paid properly for their talents.
“Fat cats cream off the top and leave us the rotten crumbs. You know, in England right now, there are nurses going to food banks to feed their children. This is not right, this is not acceptable. It impacts mental health. Because of it, I suffered from depression and anxiety. I worried that I was going to be on the streets. That terrified me so much that once, I was suicidal.
“I am not afraid of the 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. Bayonetta always stands up for those with less power, and stands up for what’s right, and in doing this, you stand with her.”
In her third video, Taylor shared that she had to reaudition for the role as “sometimes voices change with time,” and she passed with “flying colors.” Following her audition, she was sent a “insulting offer.” In response, she wrote to Bayonetta 3 executive director Hideki Kamiya to ask him for “what i’m worth.”
“So, I got a friend who has been in business in Japan to write in Japanese to him,” Taylor said. “I know he read it, because I got a reply! I got a reply, saying that he ‘values greatly the contribution to the game and the fans really want me to voice it over, and the memory of first meeting me as Bayonetta is a memory I hold dear.’ So, I thought, ‘Great! Thank god!’ That is when they offered me $4,000 USD. And you know, Platinum had the cheek to say that I was busy, that they couldn’t make it work with Ms. Taylor’s schedule. Well, I had nothing but time.”
Taylor then spoke about Hale replacing her and saying that, while she wishes her all the best, “she has no right to say she is Bayonetta.”
“They now have a new girl voicing her over, and I love actors and I wish her all the joy in the world and all the jobs, but she has no right to say she is Bayonetta,” Taylor said. “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 Golden Compass. That betrayal is hers, and hers alone. They’ll probably try to do a spin-off with Jen, don’t buy that either.”
Kamiya has since responded to these allegations with a short Tweet, saying, “Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now. By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.”
We will update this story as it develops.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.