Over the weekend the upcoming Bayonetta 3 made some big headlines, but not in the way Nintendo or developer Platinum Games were likely hoping. Original Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor posted a series of videos in which she claimed she was only offered $4000 to do Bayonetta 3, a sum she deemed “insulting” and turned down. She further called on fans to boycott Bayonetta 3 and said new actress Jennifer Hale has no right to call herself Bayonetta. Series creator Hideki Kamiya seemingly replied, decrying an “attitude of untruth” from Taylor.
Needless to say, opinions and debate have been running hot since Taylor posted her videos. Unfortunately, since this is the Internet in 2022, large quantities of abuse have also spewed in all directions, including at those only tangentially involved like the new Bayonetta voice actress Jennifer Hale. It seems Hale, who has a rather extensive VO career outside of Bayonetta, has been compelled to respond. While she doesn’t say anything too specific due to NDAs, she does seemingly express sympathy for Taylor while also urging against a Bayonetta 3 boycott.
About Bayonetta 3: pic.twitter.com/e4VrclEQIm
— Jennifer Hale (@jhaletweets) October 17, 2022
“With regards 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 more, 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 crated 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.”
There are a lot of unknowns at play here, and there’s a very good chance we may never get all the details, so I don’t want to speculate too heavily about who’s in the “right” here. That said, I think Hale’s response largely sums up my feelings. If her account is accurate, Hellena Taylor certainly deserved a better offer considering the Bayonetta series’ success, and while it’s Platinum’s right to recast the role if they want to, it seems like they could have handled it more tactfully. That said, Bayonetta 3 is the work of a large team who would all be affected by its failure, so I don’t really feel like a boycott is the answer either. Hopefully, bridges can be mended, but that seems like a long shot at this point.
Bayonetta 3 launches on Nintendo Switch on October 28. You can learn everything you need to know about the game here.