Sources have disputed recent claims by former Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor, who said she was offered an “insulting” offer of just $4,000 dollars to reprise her role in the third game.
In a series of videos published on social media over the weekend, Taylor – who has been replaced as Bayonetta in the upcoming Switch sequel by veteran Jennifer Hale – criticised developer PlatinumGames and called on fans to boycott Bayonetta 3.
The actor claimed she eventually wrote to PlatinumGames vice president Hideki Kamiya, who she claimed did not offer her more than what she called an “immoral” offer to reprise her role.
Taylor’s videos have been viewed nearly 10 million times to date, and the actor received an outpouring of support from players as well as fellow voice actors, who have long complained of being underpaid. The videos also led to harassment toward Platinum developers and new Bayonetta actor Hale.
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However, sources cited in a Bloomberg report have now disputed some of the claims made by the voice actor, many of which VGC can corroborate via our own sources.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, as well as documentation reviewed by both Bloomberg and VGC, Platinum intended to rehire Taylor last summer.
It’s claimed that Platinum sought to hire Taylor for “at least” five sessions (VGC’s sources suggested it could have been as few as four), with each paying $3,000 to $4,000 for four hours in the studio.
This would have brought Taylor’s total fee to $15,000, Bloomberg reports, as VGC can corroborate via our own sources. One person with knowledge of the deal claimed to VGC this represented a significant increase on Taylor’s fee for the second game.
According to Bloomberg, the voice actor responded by asking for a six-figure sum as well as residuals on the game – a claim Taylor strongly denies. VGC sources echoed the residuals claim, but did not mention a requested sum.
In private messages exchanged with VGC, Taylor called the suggestion that she was offered more than $4,000 “categorically untrue”. She also labelled claims by sources that she could’ve earned $15,000 “an absolute lie, and a complete joke”.
“I’d quite like to put this in the [rearview] mirror and leave the whole bloody franchise behind,” she told VGC. “So I think I’ll just let my videos stand. I spoke the truth.”
In Taylor’s video messages – which she said were an act of her breaking non-disclosure agreements – the actress claimed that her concern about being out of work caused her to suffer anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
People with knowledge of Platinum’s negotiations indicated that they were aware Taylor had suffered depressive episodes in the past.
PlatinumGames did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
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Since posting her claims this weekend, Taylor has been met with a groundswell of support, including from fellow voice actors who shared their experiences of receiving similar offers.
Platinum vice president Hideki Kamiya‘s Twitter account was temporarily restricted over the weekend following a series of messages posted in response to Taylor’s allegations, including one message in which he called Taylor’s claims untrue.
New Bayonetta voice actor Jennifer Hale released a statement directly addressing the controversy on Monday.
“Anyone who knows me, or has followed my career, will know that I have great respect for my peers, and that I am an advocate for all members of the community,” she said. “I am under NDA and am not at liberty to speak regarding this situation. My reputation speaks for itself.”