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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Hellena Taylor Wants You to Boycott Bayonetta 3 Because of her Personal Problem

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You can do what you want with your money, but it probably shouldn't be because of her.

You may have noticed that Bayonetta sounds different in the upcoming (October 28!) Bayonetta 3 than she did in Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, and the Super Smash Bros. series. That's because long-time voice actress Hellena Taylor is off the project, and Jennifer Hale is in. Yusuke Miyata, a PlatinumGames director, talked with Game Informer to say that Jennifer Hale is “the new [English] voice of Bayonetta”, and that she is “a good match for the character.” (Atsuko Tanaka remains as Bayonetta's Japanese voice actress.) And he really likes her performance. The Game Informer writer, Marcus Stewart, opined that Hale's voice-acting was “exceptional”.

So... where does that leave Hellena Taylor? Making unhinged video rants (in four parts across eight minutes) on Twitter about how she declined the role due to being given a bad offer by PlatinumGames, and demanding that Bayonetta fans should boycott it.

In case the video ends up, say, disappearing (though I did reupload all four parts put together here), or just so you don't have to watch her and you can concentrate on her words, I've transcribed the text of all four of her videos below. She gets nuttier and less sympathetic as they go on, and it's important to listen or read everything she has to say because according to video views, most people only watched the first video. I'm going to give my own opinion and analysis after the transcripts:


“Hello, my name is Helena Taylor, and I am the voice of Bayonetta, and I would like to explain to you why I didn't voice Bayonetta 3. Bayonetta franchise made an approximated 450 million dollars. That's not including merchandise.
As an actor, I trained for a total of seven and a half years. Three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) with voice coach Barbara Berkery, and four and a half years with the legendary Larry Moss in Los Angeles. And what did they think this was worth? What did they offer to pay me? The final offer to do the whole game as a buyout a flat rate was 4,000 U.S. dollars. This is an insult to me. The amount of time that I took to work on my talent and everything that I have given to this game and to the fans. I am asking the fans to boycott this game, and instead spend the money that you would have spent on this game, donating it to charity.
I didn't want the world. I didn't ask for too much. I was just asking for a decent dignified living wage. What they did was legal, but it was immoral.”


“Now those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I am more of a lover than a fighter, and sometimes think I'm not very much like Bayonetta at all, but I guess I am a little bit more like Bayonetta than I thought. I understand that boycotting this game is a personal choice, and there are those that won't, and that's fine. But if you're someone who cares about people, who cares about the world around you, who cares about who gets hurt with these financial decisions, then I urge you to boycott this game.
I decided to do it to stand up in solidarity with people all over the world who do not get paid properly for their talents. Fat cats cream off the top and leave us the rotten crumbs. You know in England right now, there are nurses going to food banks to feed their children. This is not right, this is not acceptable. It impacts mental health. Because of it, I suffered from depression and anxiety. I worried that I was going to be on the streets. It terrified me so much, that once I was suicidal.
I am not afraid of the non-disclosure agreement. I can't even afford to run a car. What are they going to do, take my clothes? Good luck to them. Bayonetta always stands up for those with less power, and stands up for what is right, and in doing this you stand with her. Thank you.”


“Um, for those of you who are interested, I'd like to go into a little more detail about the back and forth. The first thing was I was required to audition again, because sometimes voices change with time. So I auditioned for the role, and obviously passed with flying colours. They then sent me an insulting offer. So I thought, you know what, I'm going to write to Hideki Kamiya. I'm going to write to him and ask him for what I'm worth.
So I got a friend who has been in business in Japan to write in Japanese to him. I know he read it, because I got a reply. I got a reply saying that he values greatly my contribution to the game, and that the fans really want me to voice it over, and he... the memory of first meeting me as Bayonetta is a memory I hold dear. So I thought, great thank God. That was when they offered me 4,000 US dollars. You know, Platinum had the cheek to say that I was busy, that they couldn't make it work with Miss Taylor's schedule. Well I had nothing but time.
They now have... a new girl voicing her over. And I love actors. I wish her all the joy in the world. I wish her all the jobs, but 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 video game The Golden Compass. That portrayal is her's and her's alone.
They'll probably try and do a spin-off with Jeanne. Don't buy that either.”


“So to Kamiya, the presidents of Nintendo, and all other fat cats around the world... I would like to quote to you from the greatest moral teacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ, from his parable of Lazarus, and the rich man. Lazarus was a poor beggar with sores all over his body and he lived outside the house of a rich man, who banqueted and feasted every day and wore purple. Lazarus even hoped for even a scrap off the rich man's table, which he never gave Lazarus. Only the dogs pitied him and licked his sores. Lazarus died, and the angels took him straight up to heaven, to the bosom of Abraham.
Meanwhile, the rich man went to hell, and suffered torment, and in his torment he cried out to Abraham, ‘Abraham, please save me, take me up to heaven!’ To which Abraham said, ‘You had your joy in life... now this is set for eternity.’ So he said, ‘Please tell my brothers who are living like I was! Send them a messenger so they can repent.’ To which Abraham said, ‘We've sent you Moses and the prophets.’ ‘Oh, but if you send Lazarus, if a man comes back from the dead, they will listen to him.’ To which Abraham replied, ‘If you did not listen to Moses and the prophets, it's unlikely that you'll listen to a man who's risen from the dead.’
I would like to thank you, the fans, who have followed me on Twitter, commented kindly, and liked my work. Bless you. I wish you all the joy and luck in the world.”


There is a lot to process, but even given all of that information, I believe there is some missing context, so I reached out to Hellena Taylor via email on what would be her Saturday night:

“Hello Hellena,

Given your recent video statements on Twitter about your low offer to voice Bayonetta 3, how much were you paid to voice Bayonetta 1, 2, and Super Smash Bros 4? I'd like to publish that information in order for everyone to have a better understanding of your predicament, for the sake of transparency and a full story.

Ludwig Von Koopa

She didn't reply by publishing. I kinda doubt she ever will, since it'd be in violation of non-disclosure agreements... but hey, she already said she broke non-disclosure agreements in her rants above. Might as well go all the way.

Substantively, it appears to be true that Hellena Taylor does not have much going for her. If the Internet Movie Database is to be trusted, her last roles were back in 2014—for Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros. 4. (I guess the Super Smash Bros. 4 credit may be 2015, given when Bayonetta was revealed as the last DLC.) I don't know how she's been living since then (uncredited roles? Voice-acting in commercials or PSAs or something?), but if she was an in-demand voice actress, she'd actually be cast for SOMETHING within the past 5+ years. But she's clearly not in-demand, and regardless of her voice training from years ago, people who aren't in-demand have a much weaker negotiating position. No one wants you, why should we pay top dollar for you?

And she's right that money was likely not an issue for PlatinumGames. After all, Jennifer Hale likely did not agree to lend her talents for only $4,000 if that was such an outrageously and immoral sum of money. (I have no idea how she came to the conclusion that the Bayonetta series is worth $450 million, however. By any reasonable estimate, it's quite a bit less.) Perhaps they didn't like Hellena's attitude and they found her difficult to work with, so they just wanted to get rid of her. Based on what she ranted here, that's a very easy thing to believe. Maybe that's why she hasn't found other work in years.

By the way, her acting like she is the ONE TRUE BAYONETTA and that Jennifer Hale's coming-performance is invalid is a horrible (and inaccurate) thing to say. (The Eva Green thing references the character Serafina Pekkala from The Golden Compass, which actress Eva Green portrayed in the film but Hellena Taylor portrayed in the videogame adaptation in 2007.) It's even worse in that Hellena Taylor is herself not even a Bayonetta fan. She freely admits on her own website that she's never played a Bayonetta game, believing it would be “weird” to do so.

Hellena Taylor Bayonetta voice actress Jennifer Hale has no right
What a super petty thing to say.

I'm against the idolisation of voice actors regardless of how big a fan of the games they help work on, but at least the likes of Joe Zieja (voice-acted Claude in Fire Emblem: Three Houses) had a long period of time where he'd regularly stream playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses and really seemed happy about the game as a whole, not just that he got paid to play a part in it.

I'm quite bothered that Hellena Taylor wants to give herself more credit for making Bayonetta who she is than the animators, writers, voice directors, scenario planners, etc. that worked harder than she did and made more critical creative decisions than she did. She drastically overvalues her own input. And that is how she thinks, because when you call for a boycott of a product, that's a very serious call, and it basically means that you're equating the efforts of those who worked on the product to be less than the moral damage that's driving your boycott. Normally, people boycott for things like anti-consumer practices or using slave labour/participating in genocide, but in Hellena Taylor's case, she believes (and wants YOU to believe) that the output of the entire Bayonetta 3 team is less than her voice-acting of Bayonetta. Without her (and she's only available at the right price), it's all worthless and she wants Bayonetta 3 to fail.

It's not a union thing, by the way: Both Jennifer Hale and Hellena Taylor are (communist) SAG-AFTRA members that think they're very important, and they very proud of it. For her part, Jennifer Hale behaves like a professional.

As for part 4... it seems like she's comparing Hideki Kamiya, executive director of PlatinumGames, to Biblical sinners condemned to Hell. All because they aren't trying to fight to have her take a voice-acting job. They gave her an offer, she rejected it, and now they're going to eternal damnation. For his part, Hideki Kamiya provided a very vague tweet about an “attitude of untruth.” ...And then he deactivated his account. So I guess he was saying Hellena Taylor isn't telling the full story, and it's obvious she isn't.

Though I am curious about that Jeanne spin-off. Does that imply Grey DeLisle-Griffin isn't voicing Jeanne in Bayonetta 3, either? Or is Hellena just a spiteful individual and wants to burn all bridges with her only notable voicework in the past decade? If anyone is morally unjust here, it's Hellena Taylor. It'd be hard to boycott her though, since she doesn't actually work on anything.

Rather late-breaking news from two sources that I don't recommend you actually trust, FAKE NEWS Bloomberg and VGC. Both cite anonymous sources, presumably at PlatinumGames, that state that Hellena Taylor was actually offered a minimum of $15,000. She rejected this offer and wanted to go for a much higher offer—probably because she's trying to live off of this for the rest of her days given her poor ability to pick up additional work. The Bloomberg story puts that at a six-figure amount in addition to residual income. While Hellena Taylor refused to reply to my email, she did apparently reply to Bloomberg's email and said it was “an absolute lie.” And apparently she wants to be a theatre woman and “put this whole bloody franchise behind me quite frankly get on with my life”... which doesn't sound like someone who is leading a boycott movement and trying to get PlatinumGames and Nintendo in Hell. One of VGC's anonymous sources said that the amount of money that PlatinumGames offered was a “significant increase” over Bayonetta 2, which sort of answers my question I tried to ask Hellena directly.

That information doesn't change anything I've written, though perhaps Hellena's undocumented theatre life is how she's been making ends kind of meet this whole time. Either these outlets with a history of lying are lying, Hellena Taylor is lying/is crazy, or there is a combination where everyone is lying. Hellena Taylor has no credibility in my eyes, and even if she did, she'd still be in the wrong, and her conduct disqualifies her for future employment until or unless she can learn to correct her poor behaviour.

Ludwig isn't buying Bayonetta 3 either way, since character-action games aren't a genre he's actually into. He made that quick decision a long time ago, and Hellena Taylor has zero impact on it. Not being into the product is still different than boycotting it, however.

Wondering what Hellena Taylor's preferred charities are? Take a look as Bayonetta 3 released.


  1. Comparing Hideki Kamiya to biblical sinners is a very funny line. I wouldn't say he is evil, but he is certainly very very strange. Is suppose you have to be to make something like Bayonetta. I kinda feel for her, but lets be real, this is voice acting. This whole industry is built upon replacing people with those who have similar or better voices for iconic characters. It should really come as no surprise.

    1. Yeah, he appears in a bad mood right now.

      Anyway, I dunno if the whole industry is actually built on that or that's an exaggeration (blunted by union culture), but just for her attitude alone there are much better options out there.

  2. Hellena Taylor put out some new statements where she claims she is defending her reputation from being deemed a liar, and then admits to lying:

    While many people are saying that Hellena Taylor fooled them with her pity story, remember that at KoopaTV, we were never fooled into Hellena Taylor's lies to begin with. We can see through that.


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