It’s been quite the month for original Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor. After leveling some explosive allegations at Platinum Studios, the developer behind the popular series of action games, she kicked off a far-reaching discussion about the treatment of voice actors in the video game industry. However, eyebrows started to be raised when Bloomberg dug up some information suggesting Taylor’s account wasn’t entirely accurate, escalating the conflict further. Now, despite her original claims that Bloomberg’s report was an “absolute lie,” it would appear that Hellena Taylor has confirmed its contents.
Taking to Twitter to provide an update on the situation earlier today, Taylor provided new details in a six-Tweet thread that seemed to corroborate Bloomberg’s report. For example, despite her insinuations in her initial videos that she was offered no more than $4,000 to return to the role in Bayonetta 3, her latest update reveals that the initial offer was in fact $10,000, later raised to $15,000 after speaking with Hideki Kamiya, the game’s director. The $4,000 figure appears to have been for a cameo role, offered later after Taylor had turned down the offer to reprise Bayonetta herself.
Jason Schreier, the Bloomberg journalist who broke the report in the wake of the allegations, saw Taylor’s volte-face as an end to the matter, and hit back at critics who accused him of “siding with capital over labor.” “My job is to side with the truth,” he wrote today, expressing a hope that the pursuit of truth in difficult situations such as this would ultimately help everyone who poured their labor into the project in all areas.
Schreier certainly has a point — it’s hard to dispute the fact that this thorny discussion has caught people in the crossfire. Jennifer Hale, the new voice of Bayonetta, received abuse in the wake of Taylor’s allegations, and Kamiya was driven off Twitter altogether. Arguably the most unfortunate thing is that, despite the importance of discussions and advocacy for all workers in the industry, campaigns founded on quicksand like Taylor’s risk raising the drawbridge on it altogether. There are already plenty of examples of poor behavior in the industry — making up new ones just makes it harder to fight it.