Voice actress Hellena Taylor, known for her role as the titular character in the popular video game “Bayonetta,” is calling on fans to boycott the franchise’s bayonetta 3. Taylor claims that the flat rate she was offered to reprise her role was not a sufficient living wage and does not reflect her years of experience.
In a series of videos posted on her Twitter account, Taylor expressed her decision to stand in solidarity with talented individuals worldwide who are not properly compensated for their work. She emphasized that her motivation to speak out is rooted in the belief that fair payment should be extended to all individuals utilizing their talents. Taylor revealed that she was offered a mere $4,000 for her role, which she considers inadequate given the franchise’s worth of $450 million (excluding merchandise).
Both Nintendo and SEGA of America, the publishers of “Bayonetta,” along with game developer Platinum Games, have not responded to requests for comment regarding Taylor’s allegations.
Taylor’s videos have gained significant traction online, amassing over 9.4 million views as of Monday evening. They have reignited the ongoing discussion surrounding equitable compensation for voice actors in the gaming industry, with many expressing their support for her cause on various social media platforms.
One Twitter user responded to a tweet from Platinum Games promoting the release of the third installment by stating, “pay your leads more.” Another individual who previously owned “Bayonetta 2” on the Wii U declared their decision not to purchase the game, adding that the mistreatment of voice actors is prevalent across multiple industries. A different user announced the cancellation of their pre-order for “Bayonetta 3.”
Experts in the gaming industry suggest that the payment for voice actors depends on various factors and cannot be determined without additional context from publishers and developers. Mike Hayhurst, the senior director of voice operations at BLEND, a voice-over services provider, explains that video game voice actors often negotiate an hourly rate based on factors such as experience and the scope of work. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) represents video game voice actors and has previously reached agreements with video game companies to ensure fair compensation.
It is crucial for game companies to maintain consistency in the voices of their characters, as players develop emotional connections with these virtual personas. Hayhurst emphasizes the importance of retaining the same voice actor when possible, as sudden changes can disrupt the gaming experience.
Taylor’s case is reminiscent of voice actor Michael Hollick’s experience with “Grand Theft Auto IV” in 2008. Hollick expressed frustration over his pay for voicing the lead character, Niko Bellic, despite the game’s massive financial success. At the time, voice actors did not receive any secondary compensation for their work. Hollick placed responsibility on the union for not implementing agreements that would protect the creative individuals who contribute to the success of these games.
The debate surrounding fair payment for voice actors is not new and has persisted over the years. Following Taylor’s videos, other voice actors, such as Sean Chiplock, shared details about their compensation for working on high-profile games. Chiplock disclosed that he received approximately $2,000 to $3,000 for his work on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” based on the total number of hours spent in the studio.
While Taylor’s specific affiliation with SAG-AFTRA remains unclear, the union has made efforts to ensure fair compensation for video game voice actors through bonus structures based on session work.
Director Hideki Kamiya, associated with the “Bayonetta” series, responded to Taylor’s videos
on Twitter, expressing his disappointment and alluding to misinformation. However, Kamiya has not provided further comments regarding his tweet.
Jennifer Hale, another actress in the industry who assumed the role of Bayonetta in the third installment, released a statement on Twitter titled “About Bayonetta 3.” As a longstanding member of the voice acting community, Hale supports fair payment for all actors and has been an advocate for this cause. While her nondisclosure agreement limits her ability to discuss the situation extensively, she urged fans to approach the game with an open mind and emphasized the collaborative effort behind its creation. Hale expressed her hope for an amicable and respectable resolution to the ongoing dispute.
In conclusion, Hellena Taylor’s boycott call for “Bayonetta 3” has sparked a broader conversation about equitable compensation for voice actors in the gaming industry. The outcome of this dispute remains uncertain, but it underscores the importance of recognizing the valuable contributions of voice actors and ensuring their fair treatment. Please support us by providing some quality backlink from your website.