Former Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor has taken to Twitter to defend herself against claims that she is a ‘liar and golddigger’ in relation to an ongoing controversy surrounding Bayonetta 3 regarding payment for reprising her role as the titular character.
Last weekend, Taylor took to Twitter to vent frustration at allegedly being offered just $4,000 dollars to voice Bayonetta in the upcoming game. Following this, articles from Bloomberg’s Jason Schrier and VGC’s Andy Robinson – which cited multiple sources and documentation – that contradicted Taylor’s account she was offered only $4,000 to reprise her role as Bayonetta.
Today, the voice actor released a new statement via Twitter in which she sought to defend herself and her reputation in the industry.
Bayonetta 3 – Release Screens
The reports suggested that PlatinumGames had attempted to hire Taylor for up to five, four-hour sessions, paying between $3,000 – $4,000 a sitting. The total fee would have amounted to roughly $15,000, which was significantly more than Taylor had been paid for previous titles, according to VGC.
Taylor had reportedly turned this offer down and sought a six-figure sum and residual payments in exchange for her involvement with the project.
In a series of tweets, Taylor stated that the initial offer from PlatinumGames – which she rejected – would have amounted to $10,000 in total, and that following her correspondence with Hideki Kamiya she was offered an additional $5,000.
Taylor says she declined the $15,000, and 11 months later also turned down an offer of $4,000 to voice “some lines” as a flat fee.
According to Taylor, there were no extensive talks, and claims that she was offered $4,000 for 5 recording sessions are, in her own words, “total fabrications”. Furthermore, she denies that she negotiated for a six-figure payment.
“There were not “extensive negotiations,” Taylor tweeted. “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.”
It has come to my attention that some people are calling me a liar and golddigger. I feel the need to defend myself and my reputation in the industry. See thread #PlatinumGames #Nintendo #Bayonetta #Bayonetta3 #Bayonutters #Boycott #NintendoEurope #NintendoAmerica #NintendoJapan
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 24, 2022
The veteran voice actor also said that she was paid a “shockingly low” £3,000 pounds sterling for the original Bayonetta game, and only a “little more” for Bayonetta 2.
Taylor ended the Twitter thread by telling supporters that any money she took from fan signings was donated to charity.
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 15, 2022
On Oct.15, Taylor posted a series of videos to Twitter in which she accused PlatinumGames – the developers of the Bayonetta franchise – of paying her what she described as an insultingly low rate to voice the game.
In the videos, Taylor explained that she rejected an initial ‘insulting offer’ from PlatinumGames to reprise her role in Bayonetta 3 – a franchise that she claims is worth $450 million. She then wrote to the series’ director Hideki Kamiya to – in Taylor’s own words – “ask him for what I’m worth.”
According to Taylor, Kamiya responded, explaining that he appreciated her work on the series. He then reportedly offered her a flat rate of US$4,000 to voice the game, which she turned down, prompting PlatinumGames to approach Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale for the role.
The videos posted by Taylor have since been collectively viewed over 10 million times, and have triggered a debate around the payment of voice actors in the gaming industry amid the ongoing controversy.
They have also cast a shadow over the imminent release of Bayonetta 3 which is set to be one of Nintendo’s biggest releases this holiday season.
Anthony Wood is a freelance science writer for IGN