New reports have emerged disputing claims made by original Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor that developer PlatinumGames was only willing to offer her a total of $4k to reprise her role in the series’ upcoming third instalment.
Taylor – who has been replaced by voice actor Jennifer Hale for Bayonetta 3 – made the claim in a series of emotional videos shared on Twitter this weekend, citing Platinum’s “insulting [pay] offer” as the reason for her absence in the third game.
“I didn’t want the world, I didn’t ask for too much,” she said in one video. “I was just asking for a decent, dignified living wage. What they did was legal, but it was immoral.” Taylor also called for a boycott of Bayonetta 3, suggesting fans instead donated their money to charity.
After Taylor’s video was posted, Bayonetta 3 executive director Hideki Kimaya took to Twitter, writing, “Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now”.
The situation has remained tense in the days since, with Kamiya, Hale (who shared her own brief statement last night), and Taylor all having been subjected to abuse online.
Tonight, however, new reports – similar accounts from both Bloomberg and VGC – have emerged disputing Taylor’s claims. Bloomberg’s report, which cites two people “familiar with” but unauthorised to discuss private contract negotiations (it isn’t clear whether these sources are from within PlatinumGames itself), claims the developer sought to hire Taylor for “at least five” four-hour sessions, each paying $3000 to $4000. VGC’s sources differ slightly, suggesting the number of sessions could be as “few as four”.
While both accounts (each claiming to have reviewed unspecified “documentation” as part of their reports) point to a total offer of $15k for voicing the role of Bayonetta, Bloomberg claims Taylor’s negotiating party was instead seeking a six-figure sum and residuals – although VGC’s sources only echoed the residuals claim.
Taylor, for her part, writing in private messages shared by VGC, insisted the claims she was offered more than $4k for the role were “categorically untrue”, calling the $15k figure touted by sources as “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 is reported to have told VGC. “So I think I’ll just let my videos stand. I spoke the truth.”