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‘I support every actor’s right to be paid well’: Jennifer Hale’s Show of Support for $450M Franchise Bayonetta Paying Voice Actors Just $4K Proves Problem Extends Beyond Disney’s VFX Artists Controversy

Jennifer Hale

Early in October, PlatinumGames, a Japanese developer renowned for action games, stated that the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Bayonetta 3 would not have voice actress Hellena Taylor reprising her legendary seductive role as the protagonist. Instead, Bayonetta’s English voice actor would now be Jennifer Hale, one of the industry’s most well-known for roles such as Commander Shepard.

Bayonetta 3
Bayonetta 3

Hellena Taylor, the former voice actor for Bayonetta, has revealed that she did not repeat the reprise of her role for Bayonetta 3 because she was only offered $4,000 to do so. She has also advised people to boycott the game and instead donate to a charity.

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Hellena Taylor opens up about the underpaid controversy

It’s safe to say that Platinum Games is under fire right now, as more and more people react to the lowball offer it made to Hellena Taylor to reprise her role as the Umbra Witch in Bayonetta 3 for Nintendo Switch, prompting her to decline the position. The voice actor recently went out to clarify that Platinum only paid $4k, which she and many others feel “insulting,” especially since she is a key reason why many people love the legendary character.

A still from Bayonetta 3
A still from Bayonetta 3

Platinum claimed that the substitution was necessary owing to “many overlapping reasons” that made Taylor’s return to Bayonetta “impossible.” Over a week later, Taylor took to social media to question Platinum’s version, implying that the studio wasn’t forthcoming about what happened.

“The Bayonetta franchise made an approximated $450 million, and that’s not including merchandise,” Taylor began. “As an actor, I trained for a total of seven and a half years – three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Lambda with voice coach Barbara Berkery, and four and a half years with the legendary Larry Moss in Los Angeles. And what did they think this was worth?” 

“This is an insult to me. The amount of time I took to work on my talent, and everything that I have given to this game and the fans. I am asking the fans to boycott this game and instead spend the money that you would have spent on this game donating to charity.”

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Platinum did not choose to offer the VA a paycheck that matched her worth after Taylor declined the offer. Instead, Jennifer Hale from Bulletstorm takes on the role. It’s worth noting that she’s one of the most well-known voice actors in the industry, and she’s a strong advocate for people being compensated fairly for their abilities.

Jennifer Hale speaks out on the controversy

Jennifer Hale does have a solid career as a voice-over artist for the last several video games. She is best known for her appearances as Samus Aran in the three major Metroid Prime games and as the female Commander Shepard in BioWare’s Mass Effect series.

Commander Shepherd of Mass Effect voiced by Jennifer Hale
Commander Shepherd of Mass Effect voiced by Jennifer Hale

Following the weekend controversy, Jennifer Hale has given her statement, stating that she is not at liberty to speak about the entire scenario surrounding Bayonetta 3 due to a non-disclosure agreement. She states that, 

“As a longtime member of the voice acting community, 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 NDA and am not at liberty to speak regarding this situation.”

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We certainly agree with Jennifer Hale’s comment, “I hope that everyone involved may resolve their differences in an amicable and respectful manner.” Based on her statement and general character, we believe Hale learned about Taylor’s treatment at the same time as the rest of the world did. Furthermore, the tone of her remark indicates that she does not agree with it, but because she is under NDA, she is unable to express her viewpoint.

Source: Gameranx

 

Written by Rishav Deb Roy

Rishav Deb Roy is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Cost and Management Accounts from Chandigarh University and he is also a budding Chartered Accountant aspirant. He has always been passionate about writing and has been honing his skills since a very early age. He uses his writing skills to help businesses create compelling content that engages and informs their audiences. Rishav says he has a passion to research on many things, especially anything related to pop culture. He’s been following them since a very early age and is eager to work on them. Currently, he is working as a Content Writer at Fandomwire.