Jennifer Hale, the new voice actress for Bayonetta in the eponymously named hack and slash series, has responded to Hellena Taylor’s calls for Bayonetta 3 to be boycotted.
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PlatinumGames had previously claimed that Taylor was unable to reprise her role as the voice of Bayonetta due to “various overlapping circumstances.” As such, the developer hired Jennifer Hale instead, whose voice fans had heard since the first gameplay trailer was released.
However, the former Bayonetta voice actress claimed she rejected the role due to an “insulting” offer of $4,000. Along with revealing that financial troubles had made an impact in her mental health, Taylor urged fans to boycott Bayonetta 3 — encouraging them to donate the money they would have spent on the game to charity.
Taylor, while insisting she wished Hale “all the joy in the world,” also accused, “she has no right to say she is the voice of Bayonetta. I created that voice, 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 parrot on the video game The Golden Compass; that portrayal is hers and hers alone.”
PlatinumGames and Hale initially offered no statement. As fans discussed the allegations on social media, YouTuber and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean voice actor Yong Yea noted, “Tweets Jennifer Hale has been liking recently suggest she was not informed about Hellena’s situation before she took on the role of Bayonetta and that [Non-Disclosure Agreements] might be preventing her from saying anything.”
“Direct your frustrations at the companies and decision makers,” Yea encouraged.
Hale finally offered a statement on the matter, confirming the claim made by Yea. “With regard to Bayonetta 3,” Hale opened, adding, “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.”
She added, “Anyone who knows me, or has followed my career, will know that I have a great respect for my peers, and that I am an advocate for all members of the community,” further explaining, “I am under an [Non-Disclosure Agreement] 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 created 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,” Hale concluded.
Prolific voice actor Steve Blum — best know for his performances as Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop and Wolverine in several animated Marvel productions — also threw his hat into the ring; defending Hale and denying those who said she couldn’t take up the mantle of the Umbra witch. Yet, he also advised what to do should someone take over a role that is commonly associated with a particular actor or actress.
“Well good morning! The trolls have come out with all kinds of unfounded accusations regarding Bayonetta. So let’s set some things straight. I literally just found out yesterday that Jennifer Hale will be voicing the role moving forward,” Blum prefaced.
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“I have always said that the roles are not ours, but I have NEVER said you can’t take over a legacy role,” Blum explained. “I’ve done plenty. What I’ve also said is that if there is an audition for a role that someone else is currently voicing, do your due diligence. Ask why.”
“Contact the person if you know them and talk to them if you can. Make sure that there is a good reason (other than just corporate greed) for the role being recast,” Blum recommended. “What I know for a fact is that @jhaletweets is the most honorable among us.”
“I don’t know anything about this game or the internal circumstances, but I do know that Jennifer does more due diligence than any other actor I’ve ever known and has always had the backs of everyone in our industry and in her life,” Blum asserted.
“There is obviously a lot that happened behind the scenes that nobody can talk about. We all sign [Non-Disclosure Agreement]’s to ensure the privacy of all concerned. I’m speaking out because Jennifer’s privacy has been violated by people who’ve decided they have it all figured out. They don’t,” Blum defied.
“Back off of her. She’s a great person, a great actress and she’s earned this,” Blum defended. “I stand with her and always will.”
NEXT: Former Bayonetta Voice Actress Hellena Taylor Shuts Down Claim She Was Offered $15,000 To Reprise Role: “An Absolute Lie, And A Complete Joke”