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A debate about voice actor pay has kicked off surrounding the launch of Bayonetta 3. The character’s former voice actor has alleged that she was offered a low price to reprise her role, which she found insulting. Now the character’s current VA has also spoken on the topic, reiterating her support for actors but citing a non-disclosure agreement.
Bayonetta’s former voice actor, who has voiced her in both previous games and the Smash titles, is Hellena Taylor. Over the weekend, Taylor released a multi-part video on Twitter detailing why she is not reprising her role in the upcoming game. According to Taylor, she auditioned for the role again, and was eventually offered $4,000 USD as a flat rate for all of her work, which she called an “insult.” She added that she suffered from mental health problems as a result of her financial difficulties.
Taylor asked that fans boycott Bayonetta 3 and donate the money they would have spent on it to charity instead. Several voice actors have responded to her story with details on how they’ve been paid for roles, in both the video games and anime dubbing industry.
The voices of Bayonetta
Taylor’s video came shortly after an interview GameInformer did with Bayonetta 3 director Yusuke Miyata, who said that Taylor couldn’t reprise the role for “overlapping circumstances.” Taylor implied several months ago that she might not reprise her role, but she did not elaborate. In her video, Taylor clarified that she’d originally received a lower offer, with the $4k offer coming after she wrote to series creator Hideki Kamiya directly.
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Jennifer Hale — the current voice of Bayonetta — has now spoken about the situation on Twitter. Hale’s statement read, “I support every actor’s right to be paid well and have advocated consistently for this for years…. I am under an NDA and am not at liberty to speak regarding this situation. My reputation speaks for itself.” She also asked that fans keep in mind that “an entire team of hard-working, dedicated people” worked on the game.
In the original video, Taylor expressed no ill will towards Hale but said, “She has no right to say she’s the voice of Bayonetta. I created that voice. She has no right to sign merchandise as Bayonetta.” Neither developer Platinum Games nor publisher Nintendo have responded publicly at this time. Kamiya tweeted vaguely about “the attitude of untruth,” but did not specifically mention Taylor or Bayonetta.
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