Cory Barlog, the head of Sony Santa Monica, has spoken out in support of Hellena Taylor, the voice actress for Bayonetta in Platinum Games’ eponymous trilogy. Over the weekend, Taylor dropped a Twitter bombshell that she was not voicing Bayonetta in the upcoming third game due to an issue over pay.
Despite being the voice actress for the main character of the game, and despite having been Bayonetta’s voice not just in the main series but every other appearance since then, Taylor revealed in a Twitter video over the weekend that she was only offered $4,000 for her work, and that was only after a previous, even lower amount. Taylor refused and instead left production. In her place, Bayonetta will be voiced by Jennifer Hale.
While $4,000 may seem like a large amount, that is only for a single job, and unlike many other people in the video game industry, voice actors are gig workers and rely on their gigs paying well. This isn’t the first time voice actors have had to reveal awful conditions either, and many other voice actors are also speaking up in support of Hellena.
Barlog’s support of Taylor was a Twitter statement of how studios needed to start offering better pay for the people that brought such notable characters to life, so that more great things could be done with them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that voice actors have been paid poorly for their work either.
Sean Chiplock, best known as the voice of Revali in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, tweeted in support of Taylor and revealed how little he was paid for his work on the game, despite playing one of the most prominent characters. This incident also comes hot on the heels of a large debate on the upcoming Mario movie, where Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario for many years, was replaced in favor of Chris Pratt.
Taylor, in addition to advocating a boycott of Bayonetta 3, also asked players to donate the money they would have used to buy the game to charity instead. Who knows how many will actually follow through, especially given how anticipated Bayonetta 3 was, but hopefully the huge amount of controversy Taylor’s video has sparked will lead to notable changes in the voice acting scene.