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The Bayonetta Voice Acting Conflict Just Got More Complicated

On October 5, Nintendo confirmed that Hellena Taylor would not be returning to her role as the voice of the titular character in "Bayonetta 3"; instead, Jennifer Hale would be stepping in. Many fans were disappointed by the news and weren't entirely sold on Platinum Games' initial explanation that the studio couldn't manage to work with Taylor's schedule. Taylor then came forward with a series of videos that she released on her Twitter account where she claimed, "the final offer to do the whole game as a buyout – flat rate – was 4,000 U.S. dollars." She then asked fans to boycott the game and instead donate the money they would have spent on it to charity. 


Hale later released her own statement claiming that, while she was limited in what she could say due to an NDA, she has always supported her fellow voice actors' right for fair pay, but that the game was made by a team of people and asked fans to keep an open mind about the game that they have all worked hard to make. This has sparked a massive conversation in the online community about what voice actors are paid and whether or not Taylor's treatment has been fair.

Now, new information has come to light that is adding even more complications to the controversy. Jason Schreier of Bloomberg has released an article stating that there are conflicting accounts of what Taylor was actually offered.

Platinum and Taylor have different accounts

While Taylor's initial statement claimed that she was offered $4,000 for her work on the entire game, Bloomberg reported that two sources familiar with Platinum and Taylor's negotiations claimed the company offered her $3,000-$4,000 per four-hour session with a minimum of five sessions –- meaning the lowest amount she would have been paid for her work on the game was actually $15,000. This estimate is in line with the $900-per-hour rates associated with union voice performers. These sources then claimed that Taylor's counter-offer was for a six-figure salary and residuals on the game.


Bloomberg then reached out to Taylor for her statement regarding these comments. She was quoted in the article as stating that these accounts are "an absolute lie" and that she stood by what she said in the videos. With such contrasting accounts, it's clear that someone isn't telling the whole truth.

In any case, the controversy has certainly brought more eyes to the discussion of what constitutes fair pay for voice actors and whether or not they should receive royalties on games that perform well. Brian Decchart of "Cyberpunk 2077" and Sean Chiplock of "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" have both come forward and shared stories about times they were paid less than $4,000 for AAA gaming performances. Whatever the case was for Taylor, she is certainly not an outlier.