PlatinumGames, developer of the Bayonetta series of games, has responded to the controversy that arose from the replacement of the voice actress of the main character of the new game: Helena Taylor was replaced by Jennifer Hale.
The studio released a statement saying:
“We fully support Jennifer Hale as the new Bayonetta and ask that people refrain from making any further comments that offend her or any other actor.”
A Message from PlatinumGames pic.twitter.com/5ym1JxtBBn
— PlatinumGames Inc. (@platinumgames) October 21, 2022
PlatinumGames also agreed with a statement recently released by Hale herself. The actress (best known for voicing the female version of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect) recently posted a tweet in which she supported the actors’ rights to decent remuneration.
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Hale also asked people to “keep an open mind” about the upcoming game, which was created by “a whole team of hard-working, dedicated people.”
About Bayonetta 3: pic.twitter.com/e4VrclEQIm
— Jennifer Hale (@jhaletweets) October 17, 2022
What is the essence of the scandal
Earlier, Helena Taylor, who voiced Bayonetta in the first two games in the series, urged fans to boycott Bayonetta 3 due to the “offensive” pay offer she was promised for her role:
“The final offer to make the whole game at a fixed rate was $4,000. It’s insulting to me given the amount of time and effort I’ve given to the game and the fans.”
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 15, 2022
PlatinumGames did not directly respond to the actress’ claims. Before Taylor called for a boycott, game director Yuusuke Miyata told Game Informer that “various circumstances prevented Helena Taylor from reprising her role.”
However, a Bloomberg source denied Taylor’s version of events, stating that she was offered between $3,000 and $4,000 per voice-over session for at least 5 such outings. Negotiations failed after Helena asked for “a six-figure sum”.
After the announcement of a collaboration with Jennifer Hale, a wave of criticism rushed at her. However, other voice actors sided with her: David Hayter, who voiced Metal Gear Solid protagonist Solid Snake (until he was unceremoniously replaced by Kiefer Sutherland), tweeted that “putting the blame on another actor is unfair.” And Jennifer Hale is the best of us.”
To put the blame on another actor is unjust.
And Jennifer Hale is the absolute best of us. https://t.co/AC6bJJaS38
— David Hayter (@DavidBHayter) October 18, 2022
This incident at least showed that actors bringing characters to life in best-selling games can make relatively little money.
“Some people might think $4,000 a game sounds amazing. But we are talking about tens and tens of hours of recording. Add to this the fare that no one pays for, agency fees, tax … People think that you come, work for two hours and the game comes out. Absolutely not,”
John Schwab, voice actor for The Witcher series.
Bayonetta is a hack and slash game with the eponymous protagonist, the witch Bayonetta, who fights her enemies using a combination of melee attacks and gunplay. The next series of the game – Bayonetta 3 – will be released no earlier than 2022.
Source: The Verge