Bayonetta’s original voice actor Hellena Taylor has asked fans to boycott Bayonetta 3, after revealing that she received “an insulting offer” for the upcoming threequel.
PlatinumGames director Yusuke Miyata had previously explained that “various overlapping circumstances” had made it difficult for the voice actor to reprise her role, however, in her response, Taylor claimed that she “had nothing but time” and expressed her disappointment that the developer would outright lie about the situation.
“Hello, my name’s Hellena Taylor, I am the voice of Bayonetta and I would like to explain to you why I didn’t voice Bayonetta 3,” she began in the first of four videos posted on Twitter. “The Bayonetta franchise made an approximated $450 million, and that’s not including merchandise. As an actor, I trained for a total of 7.5 years. 3 years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) with voice coach Barbara Barchary, and 4.5 years with the legendary Larry Moss in Los Angeles. And what did they think this was worth? What did they offer to pay me? The final offer to do the whole game as a buyout – a flat-rate – was $4,000.
“This was an insult to me, 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. I am asking the fans to boycott this game, and instead to spend the money that you would have 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.”
“Now, those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’m more of a lover than a fighter and sometimes think I’m not very much like Bayonetta at all. But I guess I am a little more like Bayonetta than I thought. I understand that boycotting this game is a personal choice and there are those that won’t, and that’s fine. But 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, then I urge you to boycott this game.
“I decided to do it to stand up in solidarity with people all over the world who do not get paid properly for their talents. Fat cats cream off the top and leave us the rotten crumbs. You know, in England right now there are nurses going to food banks to feed their children. This is not right, this is not acceptable. It impacts mental health. Because of it, I suffered from depression and anxiety. I worried that I was going to be on the streets. That terrified me so much, that once I was suicidal. I am not afraid of the non-disclosure agreement. I can’t even afford to run a car, what are they going to do, take my clothes? Good luck to them. Bayonetta always stands up for those with less power, and stands up for what is right and in doing this you stand with her.”
“For those of you who are interested, I’d like to go into a little more detail about the back and forth. The first thing is that I was required to audition again, because sometimes voices change with time. So, I auditioned for the role and obviously passed with flying colours. They then sent me an insulting offer. So, I thought, you know what, I’m going to write to Hideki Kamiya. I’m going to write to him and ask him for what I’m worth. So I got a friend who has been in business in Japan to write in Japanese to him. I know he read it because I got a reply. I got a reply saying that he values greatly my contribution to the game and that the fans really want me to voice it over, and the memory of first meeting me as Bayonetta is a memory that I hold dear. So I thought Great. Thank God.’ That’s when they offered me $4,000.
“Do you know, Platinum had the cheek to say I was busy, that they couldn’t make it work with Miss Taylor’s schedule? Well, I had nothing but time. They now have a new girl voicing her over. 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 is the voice of Bayonetta, I created that voice, she has no right to sign merchandise as Bayonetta, any more than I have the right to sign as Eva Green even though I was her parrot on the video game The Golden Compass. That portrayal is hers and hers alone. They’ll probably try and do a spin-off with Jeanne, don’t buy that either…”
“So, to Kamiya, the presidents of Nintendo and all other fat cats around the world, I would like to quote to you from the greatest moral teacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ, from his parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
‘Lazarus was a poor beggar, with sores all over his body and he lived outside the house of a rich man who banqueted and feasted every day and wore purple. Lazarus hoped for even a scrap off the rich man’s table, which he never gave Lazarus. Only the dog’s pitied him and licked his sores. Lazarus died and the angels took him straight up to Heaven to the bosom of Abraham. Meanwhile, the rich man went to Hell and suffered torment, and in his torment, he cried out to Abraham, ‘Abraham, please save me! Take me up to Heaven.’ To which Abraham said, ‘You had your joy in life, now this is set for eternity.’ So he said, ‘Please, tell my brothers who are living like I was. Send them a messenger, so they can repent.’ To which Abraham said, ‘We’ve sent you Moses and the prophets.’ ‘Oh, but if you send Lazarus… if a man comes back from the dead, they will listen to him!’ To which Abraham replied, ‘If you did not listen to Moses and the prophets, it is unlikely you will listen to a man who is risen from the dead.’
“I would like to thank you, the fans, who have followed me on Twitter, commented kindly and liked my work. Bless you, I wish you all the joy and luck in the world.”
PlatinumGames’ Hideki Kamiya soon took to Twitter to respond to her claims, writing: “Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now.”
First revealed at The Game Awards 2017, the PlatinumGames-developed “stylish action-filled sequel” sports “a new look for Bayonetta and new mechanics, including the ability for Bayonetta to directly control demons.”
That new ability is Demon Masquerade, which lets Bayonetta channel the demon linked to her weapon to allow “for some exciting action options, not to mention some hair-raising combos.”
Now finding herself fighting bravely in the streets of Tokyo “against a mysterious enemy bent on plunging humanity into the depths of chaos,” Bayonetta can also summon demons such as Gomorrah, Malphas and Phantasmaraneae in battle, to unleash their demonic powers “in the heat of combat and in new, larger-than-life battles where you directly control the action.”
The publisher has outlined the game’s key features as below:
- Play as the bewitching Bayonetta in the third instalment of her climax action game series;
- Shoot, stomp, and slam in a wicked new look.;
- Channel the power of demons using the new ability, Demon Masquerade;
- Unleash Bayonetta’s Infernal Demons in larger-than-life battles.
Bayonetta 3 will release exclusively at retail and digitally on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch worldwide on 28th October 2022.