Image: Nintendo/ PlatinumGames.

Yikes, Bayonetta’s Former Voice Actress Now Wants Fans To Donate to an Anti-Abortion Group

Since Hellena Taylor (the lead voice actress for the first two Bayonetta games) first accused Nintendo of only offering her about $4,000 for a game in a multi-million dollar franchise, the discourse about this game has been messy. The highlights include Talyor calling for a boycott, sources telling Bloomberg the range was $15,000-$25,000 (still lacking in my opinion), and fallout regarding issues pointed out in Bayonetta 3 reviews. The latter two are best explained by TMS writer Kirsten Carey in a whole separate piece. Early October 28, the boycott got messier when Taylor suggested a number of organizations for fans to donate to instead of buying the game, including one dedicated to forced-birth billboards in Kentucky.

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Since the initial call to boycott by Taylor on October 15, she stated that she wishes for fans to donate the money they would have spent on the game (about $60) to charity. Less than two weeks later, Taylor offered up some suggestions tweeting, “Here are the 14 that I donated 100% my video game conference autograph signing fees to if you need some inspiration.”

In a long tweet thread, she listed two big red flags. Most notably state’s side is the organization Billboards for Life. For those too blessed to have never heard of this organization, it is dedicated to placing billboards across the state of Kentucky (specifically) to push force-births. They also continue to spread misinformation like stating a fetus’s heartbeat begins at three weeks (instead of 17-20 weeks) and fingerprints form at 9 weeks (instead of 24 weeks.) They also say fetuses are smiling and dreaming in the first few weeks which is hard to fact-check because it’s nearly impossible to run a test like that?! The site also links out Covid-19 disinformation so there’s that.

Even if Taylor is going to have this public stance that disregards bodily autonomy for women, why not go with organizations to help lower the risk of unwanted pregnancies or help existing families? If she and others who hold this position really want to help people and avoid abortions, this would actually be helpful instead of these hateful Graphic Design is My Passion billboards.

One of the worst organizations with a good public image

It wasn’t just the bizarro choice to include an obscure fanatical billboard organization, but she also mentioned Missionaries of Charity. Since its founding by the abominable Mother Teresa, this organization (including under Mother Theresa’s direct supervision when she was alive) has been found holding patients in deadly care, overworking volunteers, committing sexual abuse, and having questionable finances. Also, into the 2010s and during the pandemic, missionaries were found selling children.

Religious revisionism and the power of the Catholic Church have allowed this organization to thrive. An image of Teresa is featured on at least one of the Billboards for Life advertisements. Still, Taylor not only alleges she donated her own money to this organization but is encouraging others to do so.

I’m not an expert on each of these, and some I hadn’t heard of until her thread, but most of the other organizations looked decent. In addition to an LA church, Taylor also named Doctors Without Borders, Humanimal Trust, The Silver Line, Pets for Vets, LAMBA Drama, Team Rubicon, Dogs Trust, The HALO Trust, and Kevin Cruise Foundation.

Like the many controversies surrounding the game up before this bombshell from Taylor, multiple things can be true at once. Voice actors, including ones we don’t like, deserve equitable and living wages. I’d also like it if they didn’t weaponize this issue to fund organizations that coerce people into having children they can’t have or just don’t want.

(featured image: Nintendo/ PlatinumGames.

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.