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    Bayonetta 3

    Game » consists of 2 releases. Released Oct 28, 2022

    The third entry in the Bayonetta series comes to Nintendo Switch.

    Is Hellena Taylor Boycott Justifed?

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    AV_Gamer

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    AV_Gamer  Online

    Poll Is Hellena Taylor Boycott Justifed? (303 votes)

    Yes, she should've been offered more money 60%
    No, you got greedy and lost. 40%

    Hellena Taylor, the original voice actor for the main character Bayonetta is calling for a boycott of the game Bayonetta 3 after she was offered only 4,000 dollars to reprise her role. Taylor wanted more money believing she earned it and was denied.

    What is your opinion on this Duders?

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    Efesell

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    @ragtagbag: Well, I would probably say that you cannot actually be against the latter and still support the former..

    But you especially cannot directly be in support of "Blue Lives Matter" and still try and hold that line.

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    SethMode

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    @apewins: What does what I do or make have to do with anything? My comparison point is right there, it doesn't need to be a debate. If you disagree, fine by me.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #104  Edited By AV_Gamer  Online
    @ragtagbag said:
    @av_gamer said:

    Now, if she really is a bigot whom supports police getting away with brutality, which is what the whole "Blue Lives Matter" thing is really about, then that's no good and I wouldn't befriend her personally.

    Can people stop with nonsense like this? Or are you also on board with what Kanye is spewing about what Black Lives Matter really means? The vast majority of people who support police aren't okay with police brutality.

    I've lost respect for Mr. West years ago to the point where I haven't listened to his music in years. So the stuff he is recently saying doesn't surprise me and of course I don't support it. But let's get back to the matter at hand. I said if Taylor had these views which I stand by. At the end of the day, it still doesn't change how underpaid voice actors are. And personally, I'll believe a disgruntled ex employee with a lot to lose by speaking out, over a major games developer who took days to respond. It seems like many people are quick to believe Platinum Games to personally justify playing Bayonetta 3. Though I won't be getting the game at full price. I rarely do that with video games in general. I plan on playing the game myself one day, but I still think Taylor was justified in her actions.

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    Raven10

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    At this point, without more evidence to go on, I don’t think it’s possible to form a definitive opinion. If she was offered $4000 for playing the leading role in the game that would be a fairly lowball offer. If she asked for six figures and residuals that would be equally as insane for a week of work. That is likely more than all but the leads of each department are making per year, and none of them earn residuals. If she was offered $15,000 plus expenses if she needed to travel I would consider that a decent offer for the amount of work needed. $25,000-$30,000 would have been a generous offer but $15,000 isn’t insane, especially if she has a home studio.

    It is also worth noting that this isn’t a performance capture gig. That takes a lot more time, involves a lot of prep work, and holds with it the risk of injury since you are usually doing action scenes for games. Your motion is also then being used by the animation team, meaning your performance is essential to the game functioning. That job could be a six figure job but there are numerous reasons why that is entirely different than VO. With VO I could record for multiple projects a day. I usually don’t need to leave my home. 4 hours of work means I spend maybe 4.5 hours in total on the job plus prep. I don’t have to memorize my lines. I don’t have to do any special training. I just need to warm up my voice and then go.

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    MurderDeathMill

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    @av_gamer said:

    Now, if she really is a bigot whom supports police getting away with brutality, which is what the whole "Blue Lives Matter" thing is really about, then that's no good and I wouldn't befriend her personally.

    Can people stop with nonsense like this? Or are you also on board with what Kanye is spewing about what Black Lives Matter really means? The vast majority of people who support police aren't okay with police brutality.

    On this very website, you had a giantbomb crewmember spewing ACAB/FUCK POLICE on her personal Twitter. That is the tone here.

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    Efesell

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    As is proper.

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    judaspete

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    This is just a real bummer. I love Hellena Taylor, and it was always disappointing how little work she ever really got. But if she turned down $15,000, that's nuts, and lying about it was really shitty. Also, she had no business bringing Jennifer Hale into the mix. Maybe she is going through a mental breakdown, and that is a possibility, she has openly admitted to suffering depression for years now. However, that doesn't excuse being a dick. She will have to make some heartfelt apologies once she works out of whatever she is going through.

    Unfortunately, this fiasco is the most attention Taylor ever received, and is probably the last we'll ever hear of her too.

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    TurtleFish

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    #109  Edited By TurtleFish
    @apewins said:

    @turtlefish said:

    We have firm evidence that a lot of video game companies abuse their coders, artists, QA people, etc. It's become so much of a trope, that studios are started with "we treat our workers decently" as a selling point. But, voice actors are the one exception? C'mon.

    Yes, they are. In this case it is THE voice actor, and not someone who's doing the voice of enemy soldier #3. There are certain jobs that you absolutely do not want to underpay for because that will directly influence the quality of your work in a way that everybody who's playing the game will notice and cannot be swept under the rug or patched in after release. If Platinum genuinely tried to low-ball their leading actor, their biggest worry wouldn't be that she'd decline, but that she would accept and come in to do a terrible job and now you either delay the game to re-record the lines with someone else, or release it and become a laughing stock of the game world.

    Think about it from the perspective of a sports team for example. If you're the LA Lakers, you can get away with underpaying your event staff, your lower-level trainers and physicians, maybe your 18-year old future talent. But you can't get away with underpaying LeBron James because if he's unhappy, you're in big trouble that simply isn't worth the money that you'd potentially be saving.

    You're right that there's no logical reason for the lowball offer. And as I said earlier, I wasn't in the room -- I have no idea why in this specific case there would be a lowball offer, or, if there even was one given some of the other discussion out there. But, I think, given what I've seen personally and what I've read, people are quite capable of being penny-wise and pound foolish, regardless of scenario. And so, even if the specific isn't true, I think there's enough evidence out there to prove that the general case is true.

    And I think you're underestimating the team aspect of game development, or any development team. Your star voice actor's performance doesn't mean crap if the game is buggy, has bad design, isn't fun, etc.

    To use your analogy, you point to Lebron -- but what really hurts his legacy is the fact that, for 7 years (and maybe more), he played for Cavaliers teams that paid LeBron (almost, but that's a different argument), but really underpaid everywhere else. Like, good grief, the 2008 season, his last season in Cleveland during his first stint, the one time you think they would load up to try and keep him from leaving, only ONE player started all the games Lebron did. Mo Williams. Only one other player beyond that played all 81 games -- Anderson Varejao. Dear Lord, when you're trying to convince your star to stay, and your starting 5 is James, Williams, Ilgauskas, and two revolving seats...

    I mean, they're not bad players - they still won 66 games. But man, you gotta wonder what his career would have been like if the Cavs had had better management and more budget to go for it.

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    lapsariangiraff

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    Workers in general, including VAs, should be paid more, but as far as SAG standards, Taylor got offered 3-4x the going rate. That's pretty darn good in the current system (which we all agree is unfair). That, and her lying about it to begin with, makes this all way weirder than needs to be and dilutes what should be the takeaway three weeks before negotiations on wages begin again: voice actors are generally underpaid for their work.

    I don't think her personal shitty politics takes away from this message, but MAN.

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    apewins

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    #111  Edited By apewins  Online

    I think the nature of video game voice acting is simply such that it's very difficult to make a living out of it because there just isn't a lot of work to do and you gotta constantly hustle to get the next gig like Nolan North and Jennifer Hale do. For most people it's probably better to treat it as a source of extra income aside of your day job. I know I would jump at the opportunity to make an extra $15K that I could feasibly do after my day job in a week.

    If on the other hand you told me that a person can work 16 hours a year and live comfortably off of that for the rest of the year, I'd say that would be pretty fucked up as well compared to what most people have to do to make a living. The massive wages they pay at Hollywood is a completely separate topic but we all know that extremely beautiful/handsome people get paid wherever they go.

    It's not really the same for folks who do voice acting for TV because for any show there is a constant and predictable stream of new episodes compared to a video game series that has one new instalment coming every 7 years or so.

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    mellotronrules

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    i think the other aspect of this that makes discussion from non-participants quite messy is the temptation to group this dispute in with other labor issues in games dev.

    voice actor rate/compensation negotiations follow a significantly different paradigm than your rank and file programmer, artist, etc. yes- there's absolutely solidarity to be had in those that are underpaid, but your SAG actor's pay package, relative labor, investment, and hourly rate will look significantly different than your mid-level texture artist or QA tech.

    i think a lot of people are placing this dispute in the same zone as corollary to crunch, normalized layoffs and c-suite compensation- and while on some macro level it's all related- this really does feel like a localized dispute rather than speaking to a broader class issue. at least that's my take.

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    beggary

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    #113 beggary  Online

    @ragtagbag: they absolutely are. Are you kidding me? Have you even read a comment section on an article on police brutality? Great swaths of (mostly white) people doing everything in their power trying to justify. Hell, lots of folks think the police should just shoot everyone for things like shoplifting. Cmon.

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    Casse1berry

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    #114  Edited By Casse1berry

    I don't care what she was offered, she made the whole situation personal and very selfish. She wants to promote a boycott for a product she didn't get the job for. Simple as that. That's only going to hurt the huge number of people who actually worked on the game. The ones who dedicated years of their lives to. Imagine being one of them and a few weeks before release, you have some lady trying to use her clout to dissuade people from your game. She put herself above all of them because her voice is most important.....get outta here.

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    theonewhoplays

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    #115  Edited By theonewhoplays

    Everyone's free to criticize and boycott a company but she lost alot of sympathy (deservedly) the moment she dragged Hale into it.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #116 AV_Gamer  Online

    @theonewhoplays: I agree with that opinion. She should've just made that one video and kept it moving. When she saw the responses supporting her and starting making more videos, eventually dissing Jennifer Hale, that was a bad look. Jennifer likely had no idea what was going on with the drama between Talyor and Platinum Games and just took on another VA gig.

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    TheRealTurk

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    @theonewhoplays said:

    Everyone's free to criticize and boycott a company but she lost alot of sympathy (deservedly) the moment she dragged Hale into it.

    A lot of this. If she wants to be pissed off at anyone beyond Platinum, it feels like she should be directing some of her anger at her union. If there's anyone in this debacle that's been getting a major pass, it's them.

    Without getting into which side of this mess is telling the truth, or how much money is enough money for a gig like this, Platinum did follow the pay scale for union talent. If there's a significant chunk of the membership that feels those numbers are too low, then it seems like this is much less of a "Jennifer Hale is a scab. Boycott this game. ERMAGERD!!" problem and more of a "Your union did a crappy job for you" problem.

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    ALLTheDinos

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    The more of this that plays out, the more I think the conversation about VAs being badly underpaid (which is true even if you believe Platinum’s offer figures) needs to be divorced from this particular VA. She’s definitely squandered a lot of goodwill, particularly with the Hale stuff, and it also seems like she’s deliberately exaggerated some facts in order to make herself a more sympathetic figure. It’ll be nice to keep momentum going for this conversation, let’s just avoid making Taylor a figurehead for it.

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    Efesell

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    Honestly I didn't expect being kind of rude to Jennifer Hale would be so much of a line in the sand.

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    ALLTheDinos

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    @efesell: I felt like it went beyond “kind of rude”, but I’ll just copy-paste the statement from Taylor’s video (via Kotaku) here. I think it’s open to interpretation for sure, but singling out a person who is as fierce an advocate for the thing you’re supposedly making your big argument about sure makes me think it’s not really about better pay for everyone. Guess we’ll find out more as this story develops.

    -“But she has no right to say she is the voice of Bayonetta, I created that voice,” Taylor said. “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 parent on video game The Golden Compass. That betrayal is hers, and hers alone. They’ll probably try and do a spin-off with Jeanne. Don’t buy that either.”-

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    Casse1berry

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    #121  Edited By Casse1berry

    @allthedinos: That quote makes her look ridiculous. Like I said, she acts like she is Bayonetta. Not the artists or people that made the game. A few hours and days in a recording booth puts her above all others who dedicated years to the project. She can continue to sign her precious merchandise for fans. She might just want to check to make sure it's labeled Bayonetta 1 or 2 first lol.

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    TheRealTurk

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    @efesell said:

    Honestly I didn't expect being kind of rude to Jennifer Hale would be so much of a line in the sand.

    It's not what you say, it's how you say it. A lesson a lot of people agitating about this stuff have unfortunately never figured out.

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    tartyron

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    As more and more comes out on this, the less sure I am on any of it. Now, I never played the previous games so I don’t have any real skin in the game, but it seems like this has just gotten ugly to the point I don’t want to look at it anymore.

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    OurSin_360

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    Without question, weird it's even a debate.

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    BisonHero

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    #125  Edited By BisonHero

    I want voice actors to be paid adequately for their work, but this story has become so murky with what the actual offers were, what Bayonetta’s VA “ought” to be paid relative to other leading roles, is Bayonetta a gazillion-dollar franchise or nearly on the brink of being cancelled, etc.

    It’s shitty of me to say, but I want to compare it to the ongoing chess cheating scandal. In both cases, as a member of the public it’s just too hard for me to tell whether something actually unfair has happened, or somebody involved just has a big ego that got bruised and they are overreacting. Also in both cases, I’m kinda sick of hearing about it until there is much more definitive reporting on it.

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    Ginormous76

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    #126  Edited By Ginormous76

    @bisonhero: Hellena Taylor has now admitted (after Jason Schrier did the reporting to uncover the truth) that she was offered $15k for roughly 4 sessions of recording, and that the $4k offer was for doing a cameo (one day of work). She keeps saying that the Bayonetta games have sold $450M, but doing some googling, the franchise as a whole have sold about 3M copies, nowhere near the $450M claim she keeps purporting. Do voice actors need to be paid more? Well, $15k for 4 days of work seems pretty good to me. Do that once a month and you make $180k for the year. Either way though, this tirade has likely done two things:

    1) Ended Hellena Taylor's career as a voice actress, because nobody is going to want to deal with the possibility of her lying and making a big stink again.

    2) Hurt the possibility of VO actors getting paid more.

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    Nodima

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    Hey, remember when I said I just don't understand why the general public should whip themselves up into a frenzy over the situation when all we had was the actress' first version of the story and recasting roles, from leads to extras, isn't exactly uncommon in acting anyway?

    As Grubb said on Friday's Game Mess, mistakes were made.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #128  Edited By AV_Gamer  Online
    @nodima said:

    Hey, remember when I said I just don't understand why the general public should whip themselves up into a frenzy over the situation when all we had was the actress' first version of the story and recasting roles, from leads to extras, isn't exactly uncommon in acting anyway?

    As Grubb said on Friday's Game Mess, mistakes were made.

    A very bad look for Taylor. She admitted that Platinum's side of the story was true. She had the video game community on her side and turned out to be a dud. Like Kanye West, she destroyed her career over having a brusied ego. She is persona-non-grata in the VA business now. And fans won't forgive her for dragging Jennifer Hale into it. I still think VAs should get paid more money, and now their attempts to do so will be harder because of this. But yeah, shout out to those who waited before giving their opinion on the issue or voting.

    Bayonetta 3 is going to sell through the roof now.

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    Efesell

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    Well, the next time something like this happens and its someone's word versus the companies I will make sure to...

    No Caption Provided

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    MindBullet

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    This whole event feels like a Ubisoft sidequest everyone would be dunking on for being too ridiculous and stereotypical. It's like how images during the peak of COVID lockdowns had people thinking that the silly environmental story telling bits we'd run into in games actually maybe aren't too far from reality.

    My only hope is that the people who were introduced to pay issues still care about that stuff after this, though I suspect like Grubb said that the only thing people will remember from all this is Taylor's actions and the dramatic reactions they got from people. I love being online.

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    csl316

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    Nobody wins.

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    TheodoricFriede

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    Lady seems positively wretched, and an absolute basket case.

    I wasn't even on her side when she was lying about only being offered $4000. Now she probably sold me a copy of the game just to spite her.

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    FacelessVixen

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    #134  Edited By FacelessVixen

    Welp, I really wish I could change my vote in this poll right now.

    Lady seems positively wretched, and an absolute basket case.

    I wasn't even on her side when she was lying about only being offered $4000. Now she probably sold me a copy of the game just to spite her.

    I support this notion.

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    amafi

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    I absolutely think voice actors should get more money, especially for main roles, and especially especially for roles where they also do physical performance for mocap and things. The fact that these people do not make any residuals is nutty to me.

    I also think this lady don't give a fuck about the treatment of voice actors and probably hurt the fight for better rates and treatment. If she had just presented the facts as they were I would have had more sympathy for her, but offering lies and then attacking a working actor who just took a job for what I guess is union scale pay is really pathetic, and it's a real shame such a stink was made about the whole situation.

    Hopefully she fucks off back to the theater world and stops agitating.

    But hey, at least the game is really good. Bit stuttery in places but it plays really well and jennifer hale did a fine job.

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    VirtuaCat

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    #136  Edited By VirtuaCat

    welp she posted her choice of charities and it included some anti choice charities so uhhhhh

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    mellotronrules

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    #137  Edited By mellotronrules

    @virtuacat: oh wow- you really weren't kidding.

    cue the looney tunes "that's all folks."

    (psst btw- i think she did a good job in the first two, but i never really understood why fans thought she was irreplaceable. bayonetta's character-defining traits appear to be 1) posh british; 2) saucy; 3) giraffe-scale legs...not exactly shakespearean levels of nuance).

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    VirtuaCat

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    @mellotronrules: listen Bayonetta (make sure you put some respect on her name and capitalize it) is one of the most respected fictional characters, much less game characters, of the last ten years. the subtlety and nuance in the personality and writing are indicative of how Bayonetta is one of the most poignant portrayals of The Virgin Mary in modern fiction. in this TED talk i will

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    tartyron

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    #140  Edited By tartyron

    Well, I’m changing my vote. I took the artists side too quick on this one. What a goddamn mess.

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    Nodima

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    #142  Edited By Nodima

    @tartyron: as the resident patient of this thread, I disagree with the idea that one could take the side of the artist too soon. I believe every artist of a certain ambition should feel free to follow their muses into the spaces they lead. I also believe consumers ought to be allowed to enjoy said works regardless of where said art emerged from or what its creator stands for apart from the work itself.

    (Here’s where I say this wasn’t aimed at you so much as the ongoing discourse about workers and employers as I take my favorite gamin’ media types to default to. Anyway, next is a paragraph that begins with”but”!

    But having done the work as a critic/interviewer of musicians in a former life (2007-2013 or so) I’ve found it pays to let creatives and, ugh, clericals play at matching bows. The artist can often raise very valid complaints about the nature of their work while also exaggerating their lack of complicity or sense of financial abandonment.

    Personally this just immediately smelled like a furiously potent social media broth the content chefs forgot to let (or y’know, were pressed by the SEO) chill in the fridge overnight. The fundamentals, in the grand abstract, of what she’s talking about matters. If her belief that this is a 500,000,000 copies sold franchise, Taylor oughta scrap for every piece of that pie she thinks she’s owed or deserved.

    But she also pays dues to a collectively bargained union, and provides one of many several aspects of a character who’s ultimately starred in just two games with a few cameos. For a publisher who has made a name for itself on mostly mercenary, second party projects that emphasize efficiency as much as ambition.

    Which is to say, I’ve never felt that Taylor’s argument as a worker was unjustified. In an industry/global society of financiers and their sons, the worker never gets the respect they’ve well and truly earned. And the employer is impressively capable of disrespecting the worker come time for a raise or any other such recognition of value.

    But employers didn’t imagine dramatic effect; in fact, they’re often too dry by half to get so creative in n their own. Especially, again, if their business is to regulate loans and payments to actual creatives.

    Which is all to say, when you have actual first or second hand information about a civil/social misdemeanor, speaking up and out should be a encouraged at all costs. But advocate consumers ought to approach said criticism with the same rigor as the text(s) that led them to consider adding a voice to advocacy, because it will always be far too easy to locate and emphasize disagreeable allies if the only critical lens is rooted in the same righteous soil.

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    tartyron

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    @nodima: I guess I just meant that I didn’t realize she was a pro-life monster. In the greater conversation, I do still take the voice actors side for better pay, and any labor force over management, heck I’m proudly in a union myself. What happened with this poll was I heard she was underpaid, so I voted the boycott was justified. Then it got ugly and I was less sure. Now she is stumping for the saved boycott money to go to skeevy conservative billboard companies. It’s been quite the journey, this story.

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    ALLTheDinos

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    #145  Edited By ALLTheDinos

    RE: poll, it definitely feels like neither answer even applies to the larger discussion anymore. Taylor is a true asshole who co-opted a serious issue in gaming for her own personal crusade. As others have pointed out, the damage she’s done to the effort to pay voice actors more fairly is immense and will have a long-lasting wake. If anyone still has the appetite to boycott the game, I imagine it will be more for paying VAs than for Taylor herself (at least for anyone who visits this site).

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    amafi

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    welp she posted her choice of charities and it included some anti choice charities so uhhhhh

    Ugh, gross. Every single update I've read since the start of this whole sorry saga has made me less sympathetic to her, and every single time I think I can't get worse, and every time I'm wrong.

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    TheRealTurk

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    RE: poll, it definitely feels like neither answer even applies to the larger discussion anymore. Taylor is a true asshole who co-opted a serious issue in gaming for her own personal crusade. As others have pointed out, the damage she’s done to the effort to pay voice actors more fairly is immense and will have a long-lasting wake. If anyone still has the appetite to boycott the game, I imagine it will be more for paying VAs than for Taylor herself (at least for anyone who visits this site).

    I dunno. If anything, the title of the thread is even more accurate now. "Is Helena Taylor boycott justified?"

    Yes. Yes it is.

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    TheodoricFriede

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    #148  Edited By TheodoricFriede

    I think she has every right to her personal or religious beliefs, I just don't know what she thought she was doing trying to sell them to the community she was trying to sell her self to.

    If you are trying to garner sympathy by using charities, you pick simple, safe, non-controversial outlets. Not the single most decisive issue in American politics.

    On top of being a liar and manipulative, she also appears to net be very bright.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #149  Edited By AV_Gamer  Online

    This ended up playing out like a drama someone would marathon watch on Netflix, but I stand by my opinion that VAs should be paid more. We found out that Taylor was far from the right person to represent that stance. Clearly, she was in the wrong on this issues and exposed herself to possibly not being good person IRL.

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