The story behind the casting of the lead voice acting role for the third game in the Bayonetta series has been a complete mess, involving allegations of terrible pay, conflicting accounts, and non-disclosure agreements. In an attempt to put the whole thing to bed, the developers of the title, PlatinumGames, have tonight issued a statement.
We at Platinum Games offer our sincerest appreciation to everyone who has contributed to creating the Bayonetta series over the years, as well as the community that has served as its foundation.
We give our full support to Jennifer Hale as the new Bayonetta, and align with everything in her statement.
We ask people to please refrain from any further comments that would disrespect Jennifer or any of the other contributors to the series.
The statement they’re referring to, from current voice actor Jennifer Hale, reads:
With regard to Bayonetta 3,
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 an NDA and am not at liberty to speak regarding 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.
With love and respect to you all,
The story began last week when Hellena Taylor, who played Bayonetta in the series’ first two games, released a series of videos where she claimed she had only been offered $4000 for the role in the third, and called for fans to boycott the upcoming game as a result:
“Fat cats cream off the top and leave us the crumbs,” she said, before noting that her inability to get a living wage from the industry has led her to suffer depression and anxiety. As she tells it, after being lowballed, she wrote to Hideki Kamiya, executive director on the game, to plead her case. She claims that he acknowledged her importance to the role and how much it would mean to fans. But the offer still apparently ended up being $4,000.
“I worried that I was going to be on the streets,” she said of the larger inability to be paid a living wage. “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.”
Hale, who has replaced Taylor, issued her own statement (the one above), while a story on Bloomberg then cast doubt on some of Taylor’s initial pay claims. Both women have subsequently been the target of online abuse, prompting Platinum’s plea in tonight’s statement.