“We are fully aware of the anti-labor, right-to-work-for-less laws that help explain why Texas has more minimum-wage workers than any state in the Union. Employers in Texas and other right-to-work-for-less states nevertheless routinely work under SAG-AFTRA agreements with no legal obstacle at all. To the extent that Gearbox’s statement reflects legitimate ignorance, Gearbox could easily have asked that question during their discussions with SAG-AFTRA, which they did not.
If indeed Gearbox meets or exceeds our contract standards in their treatment of performers, which we highly doubt, it would have cost them nothing to sign the union’s agreement and retain the original cast of their game. While SAG-AFTRA does not comment on member discipline matters, we observe that SAG-AFTRA members who work for certain non-union employers not only deprive themselves of the benefits of a union agreement, they lower the standards for all their peers and facilitate the abuse and exploitation of performers.”
UPDATE (9/30/19) – Gearbox Software has sent IGN a statement in response to Troy Baker’s comments from the story below.
“Troy is an exceptional talent and we were disappointed that he declined to partner on Borderlands 3
after being offered the part. We wish him the best and hope he knows the offer to collaborate with him still stands. Gearbox is a Texas company and is bound by Texas law – which means that a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or other labor organization. As a talent-owned and talent-led organization, Gearbox enthusiastically works to ensure our pay and working conditions meet or exceed union standards. We also believe strongly in hiring local voice actors whenever we can which is why we’re thrilled Troy’s career really took off after working with us.“
Gearbox also provided a link to the website of the Attorney General of Texas regarding unions and Texas Labor Law for further background.
Original story follows.
Following the news that Troy Baker would not be reprising the role of Rhys from Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands in Borderlands 3, there were many questions as to why this was the case.
Now, according to a recent comment by Baker himself, it appears had to do with the fact that Gearbox “wouldn’t go union.”
Speaking to VG247.com at a fan event for Troy Baker and Nolan North’s Retro Replay, Baker discussed how he was absolutely on board to return as Rhys for Borderlands 3, but Gearbox wouldn’t “go about doing it the way that we needed it to be done.”
“So they came to me, and they were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’,” Baker explained. “Which I said, ‘Absolutely.’ And then they made it impossible for me to do the role. It had nothing to do with money, it had nothing to do with money. They just simply would not go about doing it the way that we needed it to be done. So then it was like, I never said no.”Loading...
When VG247 asked some further clarifying questions as to if that meant “scheduling conflicts or something else,” Baker responded that it was because Gearbox “wouldn’t go union.”
“No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union,” he replied. “And I can’t do a non-union gig. And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Yes’. They never, because they would never move from that position. I’m not mad. It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings.”
Prior to these comments, there was a back and forth between Baker and Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford, with Pitchford claiming that “he was told by the audio director that [Baker] turned it down.”
Every IGN Borderlands Review
Baker responded by saying that he “would love to come back” to play Rhys and that Pitchford should “fact-check” his tweets.
All of this aside, Borderlands 3 has been a huge success so far for Gearbox Software as it has become publisher 2K’s fastest-selling game with over 5 million copies sold during its first five days on the market.
In our review of Borderlands 3, we said “the sheer magnitude and diversity of its arsenal of fun and surprising weaponry is unmatched, and the striking amount of loving detail and variety packed into its energetic and replayable 30-hour campaign is what makes Borderlands 3 a high-point for the series – and the genre as a whole.”For more on Borderlands 3, be sure to check out the latest SHiFT codes, all the Easter Eggs and references discovered so far, and details on the Halloween limited-time event, Blood Harvest.
IGN has reached out to Gearbox Software for a comment.
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