Complete Story


Beware the Distraction of the Twitter Mob Campaign

Dealing with social media activism

If ever there were a timely reminder of the dangers of viral social media activism, the sorry saga of Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor is surely it. In seemingly record time, it emerged as an object lesson in the virtues of waiting for all the facts to emerge amid controversy, and how social media thoroughly short circuits that prudent impulse. It also exposes the profound dangers of summoning mobs on social media.

Earlier this month, Japanese game studio Platinum Games revealed that the forthcoming third entry in its smash-hit Bayonetta franchise would not feature Taylor as the voice of the title character, as it had for the previous two games. On October 15, Taylor posted a video to her Twitter account in which she made an explosive allegation and an equally explosive request of her followers: She claimed she had been offered only $4,000 for the role, and that people should boycott the game. Fans were up in arms, and it appeared to be the latest episode in the gaming industry’s exploitative attitude to voice actors, which had caused a yearlong strike by the SAG-AFTRA trade union between 2016 and 2017.

Taylor appeared to be the embodiment of this exploitation, as a woman whose voice helped make this franchise a global hit was not only denied residuals but paid less than a living wage. Except, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier and his sources at Platinum Games, Taylor wildly misrepresented her proposed compensation; instead, she was offered $4,000 per recording session, with the number of sessions totaling at least $15,000 in compensation, above union rates. This was corroborated by Andy Robinson at VGC News.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

Printer-Friendly Version