For a few days a silent controversy has boiled in the Borderlands community. Originally back in April Randy Pitchford announced Troy Baker had refused to reprise the role of Rhys in the then upcoming Borderlands 3. Baker took to the media to spin a different story in which Gearbox was not only lying, but were against unionized employees to boot.
A perfect storm for the media to eat up and eat it up they have, until all sites had to provide an update that contained the truth of the matter or contend with Take Two Interactive, the publishing house behind Borderlands 3, and a company who doesn’t mind sending out goons if they think their bottom line is being threatened.
The original story stated that Gearbox refused to hire Troy Baker for the role of Rhys because they refused to go union. Troy Baker Stated:
“I said I would love to come back,” he said. “[Gearbox Software] said I’m not coming back. Their timeline tells an interesting story. I think it’s interesting that Randy Pitchford tweeted out that I turned it down, and then he said he heard that I turned it down. I would fact check before I tweeted out to the internet.”
“No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union,”
This was brought into question after the basic observation Gearbox had no issue employing either Ashley Burch (Tiny Tina) or Ray Chase (Rhys) in Borderlands 3. Both belonging to the same union as Troy Baker. Gearbox would soon release a statement countering Troy Baker’s narrative stating that what Troy had demanded was Gearbox only employ union employees, in direct violation of Texas State Law.
“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.
Further proving that this was nothing short of a strong arming tactic on behalf of SAG-AFTRA, Blue News reported that they released the following statement, emphasis added.
“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 read.
Beyond the credibility and character of Gearbox or the rather absolute lack of it in many people’s eyes, what we have just witnessed is a union attempting to strong arm companies by withholding only the most prominent voice talent. Increasingly the media has taken every opportunity to push the unionization of gaming because understand when companies finally realize Get Woke, Go Broke has more credibility than some of the laws of physics; they’re not going to keep their woke employees around.
Unions are fantastic at ensuring the bad apples are never fired, so do not mistake this as anything other than a power grab inside the industry.
It is ironic though that unionization is “needed” in companies ran by far left executives. Meanwhile center, libertarian, and conservative publishers/developers have no issue treating their employees with a level of decency.