In the latest development regarding voice actor Hellena Taylor's pay dispute with PlatinumGames, the former Bayonetta star has now responded to reports disputing her account of negotiations with a Twitter thread, saying she feels "a need to defend myself and my reputation in the industry."
First, some context. As marketing for the upcoming Bayonetta 3 ramped up, PlatinumGames stated that Hellena Taylor couldn't return to the titular role due to "overlapping circumstances". Taylor then posted a series of videos on Twitter calling the pay offer she received — a final flat-rate offer of $4,000, she claimed — "an insult" and asking fans to boycott the game.
Following this, sources including Bloomberg and VGC reported that Taylor was offered a total of $15,000, spread over "at least five" studio sessions. It was also claimed that "Taylor asked for a six-figure sum as well as residuals on the game". After some online abuse targeted towards Jennifer Hale — the new Bayonetta — PlatinumGames also weighed in to voice its support for the actor and requesting that people refrain from disrespecting Hale or any other contributor to the series.
Due to the discrepancies between Hellena Taylor's statement and the following reports, and a subsequent backlash with some questioning the accuracy of her initial claims, Taylor has now responded via a fresh Twitter thread to iron out any potential miscommunications after being called "a liar and a golddigger".
Although Taylor had not mentioned any monetary value other than the final offer of $4,000 in her initial video statement — in fact, in her first video she said, "The final offer to do the whole game, as a buyout, flat rate, was 4000 USD" — she did mention in her third video receiving a prior offer from PlatinumGames after auditioning for the role. It was apparently after this that she decided to contact Hideki Kamiya, who then offered the extra $5,000 (Taylor's "5,0000" is presumably a typo) mentioned in the above statement.
Here's a reminder of exactly what she said in the third video:
"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'".
In her latest thread, Taylor has also hit back against claims that she requested six-figure sums for the role, saying that she only ever wanted "a fair, living wage". She also revealed she was paid £3,000 for her work on the first game, and states that her involvement in the Bayonetta community has helped maintain interest in the game when PlatinumGames itself remained silent:
"There were not “extensive negotiations.” I’ve also been informed of ridiculous fictions, such as I asked for 250,000 dollars. I am a team player. I was just asking for a fair, living wage in line with the value that I bring to this game.
I was paid a shockingly low total of £3000 total for the first game. A little more for the second. I wanted to voice her. I have drummed up interest in this game ever since I started on Twitter in 2011.
I could not talk about the game because of NDA’s, but I happily answered fans letters, emails, signed posters, recorded voice messages for weddings and birthdays. I kept up interest in the game during the long periods of radio silence from Platinum."
Finally, Taylor writes of her discomfort at asking fans for money in exchange for signatures, instead opting to donate 100% of signing fees to charity. She has once again asked fans to do the same instead of purchasing Bayonetta 3:
"The only time I was ever at a game conference, I felt weird asking fans for money for a signature, as they had already paid for the game and I was grateful that they liked my work and the character. So I donated 100% of signing fees to charity.
I will post the 14 charities, so that you can donate to charity, instead of buying this game from corrupt, greedy people.) There are people who are attempting to throw shade and discredit what I say. The industry is powerful, they have powerful journalists too.
They are trying to save their asset. Don’t fall for it!"
Should any further updates arise from this dispute between Taylor and PlatinumGames, we'll be sure to let you know!