It was this Monday that Platinum Games officially reacted to the allegations of the voice actress Hellena Taylor. As a reminder, theThe actress, in a punch operation, took the floor to denounce the treatment of which she would have been the victim, in defiance of the generally established non-disclosure agreements. She claimed that she had been offered a $4,000 fee for dubbing Bayonetta. She gives enough details about the situation, saying that this offer would have been made after she went to talk to the director of the game Hideki Kamiya.
A Platinum Games source offers the reporter Jason Schreierknown for its commitment to the small hands behind our favorite games, a very different view of the situation. Platinum Games would have offered to Hellena not $4,000 for the entire game, but per recording session. Additionally, the source reveals that whileHellena was in discussions with the studio, it was estimated that at least five four-hour sessions, the standard length in the industry, would be necessary for the recording, according to two people involved in the negotiation.
Hellena Taylor refused the offer, since she would have demanded a total salary of at least $100,000 as well as rights to the residual value of the game. It was only after his refusal that the studio would have gone in search of a new dubber, who turned out to be Jennifer Hale. To show good will, the studio would also have offered to Hellena an in-game cameo for the price of a session.
It is difficult to imagine what the value of the residuals would be, since these rights, if considered, are generally negotiated under non-disclosure agreements. It is a sum of money paid when a cultural product (here, a video game) is republished or sold in a new form. Basically it’s a bit like royalties, except that “residuals” as they are generally called are generally earned as a result of syndicate action.
However, Helena of course calls into question this version of the facts, since it explains in a message sent to Bloomberg, where the denial appeared, that this version is “a total lie”, and that Platinum Games tries to “save their interests and the game “. It is impossible to judge who is right or who is wrong — Jason Schreier cannot divulge its sources, and it is obvious thatHelena is not going to change his version of the facts now, when the case has been relayed so much.
It is important to note the context in which this case takes place. On the one hand, the treatment of voice actors across the entertainment industry is a cause that is increasingly championed. On the other hand, chance wanted a case to bring Nintendo’s liability to the unions to the fore, which is, at the very least, not very rosy. If the case ofHellena Taylor was relayed so quickly, and so strongly, it is because we only very rarely benefit from a game in a vacuum. It is very likely that Japanese game fans also enjoy Japanese animation. However, in recent months, various English-speaking dubbers have returned to the contracts in force in the animation industry.
This is the case around the film Jujutsu Kaisen 0, which developed less than a month beforeHellena Taylor does not speak, that we must seek to understand in part the outcry that immediately arrived following his videos. Indeed, two dubbers of the film in question spoke about their contracts: they would have been paid only $150 for all of their work on the film. While these are, once again, mere allegations, the assertions of Chris Tergliafera (Kiyotaka Ichiji) and Anairis Quinones (Rika Orimoto) are fitting with comments from other voice actors on this project.
It’s also a big enough case that the issue of unionizing the profession will come up again — and be supported by other names in the trade, such as Zeno Robinson (Hawks in My Hero Academia). It would not be surprising if many people conflated the two industries, whose standards of treatment are very different. However, this does not mean that there is a problem vis-à-vis the considerations of developers, artists, dubbers, and more generally video game workers. Problem exemplified by the distributor of the game itself: when this case begins, another is resolved. That of the conflict between Nintendo of America and Mackenzie Clifton (QA tester).
The worker fired in April had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (the office responsible for investigating illegal practices in the world of work), arguing that he was able to prove that his dismissal was related to a meeting where he had mentioned unionization. If the investigation will not succeed, it is because Nintendo admits half-word that mackenzie had hit the nail on the head: the company and the tester were able to reach an agreement for more than $25,000.
This context only fuels tensions,Hellena Taylor, with its videos, will have made it bear fruit. Now, whether it’s justified, or whether the story between Platinum Games and the former voice actress of Bayonetta does not become a warning of the way in which some manipulate public opinion to their advantage, only justice, if the case comes to that, will be able to decide.