Image: Platinum Games / Nintendo
The former voice of Bayonetta has gone from calling out bad pay for gaming industry talent to plugging the controversial anti-abortion group Billboards 4Life. This all started out with her boycott of Bayonetta 3, after misleading fans about her removal from the project. She’s now urging them to take the money they would have spent on the Switch game’s release and give it to charitable causes instead, including the Kentucky-based non-profit whose sole mission is to “blanket cities and towns” with giant signs aimed at guilting and shaming would-be parents.
“My posts have hit a nerve with people,” she tweeted. “Low pay resonates not just in the gaming industry, but in the wider world beyond, all over the planet. To donate your boycott money, there are many small local charities that need your help.” While Taylor suggested traditional charitable causes like giving to food banks and organizations helping homeless people, she also promoted 14 organizations she had directly contributed to in the past.
These included the student pizza fund for the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art and several pet welfare groups, but also Billboards 4Life, whose roadside propaganda features artistic recreations of fetuses praying and quotes like “I could dream before I was born!” Taylor was promptly ratio’d.
“Your posts hit a nerve with people because you deliberately misrepresented the entire situation,” responded one person. “That and one of those charities is anti-abortion,” responded another. “I didn’t have ‘Bayonetta’s original VO is kind of a turd’ on my bingo sheet this year, but here we are.”
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The former Bayonetta voice actress became a mini-internet hero earlier this month when she revealed she was no longer working on the series because of the “insulting” pay she was offered to continue playing the titular star. In several videos that went viral, she called on fans to boycott developer Platinum Games for only offering her a flat rate of $4,000. Caught in the crossfire was Jennifer Hale, who was then harassed over replacing Taylor.
But Bloomberg later reported that Taylor was actually offered closer to $4,000 per session, with the total pay for the project being closer to $15,000. Negotiations with Platinum reportedly only broke down after she refused to budge on higher pay and residuals from future sales. While Taylor denied ever demanding a six-figure sum for the project, she ultimately confirmed that the $4,000 number referenced in the original videos was for a brief cameo after she’d already been replaced by Hale, rather than for voicing the entire project as she’d originally led fans to believe.
Even prior to today’s promotion of Billboards 4Life, Taylor had come under scrutiny by some fans over who she followed on Twitter and what tweets she Liked. Regardless of Taylor’s beliefs and behavior, the is right that the story of low pay in games and beyond resonates with people. Not just voice talent, but developers across the industry, often face uneven pay and exploitative working conditions. Boycotting a particular game is unlikely to fix that. Unions might.