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Voice actress requests fans boycott Bayonetta 3 in "insulting" salary fiasco

UPDATE: Jennifer Hale shares statement.

Bayonetta 1 artwork of the witch adjusting her glasses with a pistol in front of the moon
Image credit: Platinum

UPDATE 9.26pm: New Bayonetta voice actor Jennifer Hale has shared a statement in response to a series of videos from original voice actor Hellena Taylor which highlighted the "insulting" salary offer made by Platinum Games to reprise the lead role in Bayonetta 3.

"As a longtime member of the voice acting community," Hale wrote on Twitter, "I support every actor's right to be paid well and have advocated consistently for this for years.

"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.

"I am under an NDA and am not at liberty to speak regardring this situation. My reputation speaks for itself.

"I sincerely ask that everyone keep in mind that this game has been created by an entire team of hard-working, dedicated people and I hope everyone will keep an open mind about what they've created.

"Finally, I hope that everyone involved may resolve their differences in an amicable and respectful way."

ORIGINAL STORY 2.04pm: Hellena Taylor, the original voice actress behind Bayonetta, has requested fans boycott the third game following an "insulting" salary offer.

Taylor, who voiced the character in the first two games, has been succeeded by Jennifer Hale for the third game for unknown reasons, until now.

In a series of emotional videos on Twitter, Taylor explains she was offered just $4000 as a flat rate to work on Bayonetta 3, despite her previous work and years of training.

Cover image for YouTube videoBayonetta 3 – Nintendo Direct 9.13.22 – Nintendo Switch
Bayonetta 3 – Nintendo Direct 9.13.22 – Nintendo Switch

"This is an insult to me for the amount of time that I took to work on my talent and everything that I have given to this game and to the fans," said Taylor.

"I am asking the fans to boycott this game and instead spend the money that you would've spent on this game donating it to charity.

"I didn't want the world, I didn't ask for too much. I was just asking for a decent, dignified living wage. What they did was legal, but it was immoral."

She continued, asking fans to boycott the game "if you're someone who cares about people, who cares about the world around you, who cares about who gets hurt with these financial decisions".

She released the video to stand up for those around the world who "do not get paid properly for their talents". She said the lack of money affected her mental health; once she was suicidal.

"Bayonetta always stands up for those with less power and stands up for what is right and in doing this, you stand with her," she said.

In a third video, she explains how she auditioned once again for the role but received an "insulting offer". She then wrote to game director Hideki Kamiya to tell him what she's worth; she received a complimentary reply but with the $4000 offer.

It's unclear how much work Taylor would have undertaken for the role, although US actors union SAG-AFTRA does publish standard rates. Perhaps, with the seeming story of multiple Bayonettas in the game, the role would have been reduced for this game in particular.

"They now have a new girl voicing [Bayonetta] and I love actors, I wish her all the joy in the world, I wish her all the jobs, but 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," said Taylor.

Hale, the voice of Bayonetta in the forthcoming third game, has previously voiced the likes of Rivet in Ratchet and Clank, Samus in the Metroid Prime trilogy, and FemShep in Mass Effect among others. With such a remarkable career, many fans are suggesting her fee may have been higher than the $4000 Taylor was offered.

Hale is yet to respond to the news, though is likely under NDA. However, as Twitter user YongYea pointed out, Hale has been liking a number of pointed tweets referring to the situation, including those suggesting she's under NDA and cannot offer an opinion.

Following Taylor's video tweets, Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya tweeted simply "I warned you..." before his Twitter account was deactivated. It has since come back online as he tweets "resurrection".

Bayonetta 3 is set for release on 28th October exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We've contacted Nintendo for more.