You might recognise Troy Baker as Rhys Strongfork in the Borderlands series, among numerous other roles, but he was actually absent from Borderlands 3, despite being a fan-favourite character.
When asked about this in a recent interview with VG247 Baker clarified that this was all to do with unions.
"It was simply a matter of they wouldn't go union," he said. "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."
Gearbox has since responded with their own statement though, which reads as follows:
"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."
The Texas law referenced can be found here, and this is what it has to say regarding unions:
"Texas is a right-to-work state. This means that under the Texas Labor Code, a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or other labor organization."
"Texas laws protect employees from threats, force, intimidation, or coercion for choosing to either participate or not participate in a union. In other words, the choice of whether to join a labor union is yours; you may not be required to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment, nor may you be denied employment because you have joined a union."
That's still not all though, as the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has also waded into the debate, telling Polygon that Gearbox actually "refused and disengaged" from union talks as a whole.
"The misguided decision by Gearbox to deny their performers the opportunity to have fair union wages, a safe workplace and the possibility of health care coverage for their families, is unfortunate," the statement continues.
We'll update you if and when this story develops.
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