TOKYO (AP) — A number of main Japanese firms have determined to cease utilizing stars who’re represented by Johnny & Associates, an leisure firm on the middle of a sexual assault scandal.
Beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings — recognized for its Tremendous Dry beer — will now not air its advertisements that includes Junichi Okada, Toma Ikuta and Sho Sakurai, the corporate mentioned Tuesday, and there aren’t any plans to signal singers, dancers or actors affiliated with Johnny’s. Different firms, together with Japan’s flagship provider Japan Airways and main insurer Nippon Life Insurance coverage Co., are following go well with in distancing themselves from the scandal.
Johnny & Associates stays one in all Japan’s strongest leisure firms even after an investigation confirmed its late founder Johnny Kitagawa sexually assaulted a number of hundred youngsters and teenagers over a long time whereas whispers of his wrongdoings had been ignored. His niece resigned as chief government final week however nonetheless owns the corporate that makes a speciality of boy bands.
Critics say the mainstream information media stored silent as a result of it didn’t wish to lose entry to Johnny’s stars for his or her programming. However public opinion has shifted dramatically in current months, with the wave of firms dropping Johnny’s anticipated to develop.
It’s unclear whether or not the handfuls of artists signed with Johnny’s will defect in droves to different firms. Johnny’s operates as each brokers for performers and content material producers, in addition to working a faculty for future performers, that means artists might have restricted choices in the event that they needed to depart.
Though hypothesis is rife that TV exhibits might drop Johnny’s stars from their programming, such shifts could also be gradual. Previously, critics say Johnny’s had the facility to penalize program producers if their stars had been handed over for rivals.
Suntory Holdings mentioned it is going to cease utilizing Johnny’s personnel in its advertisements and has formally demanded improved company governance. The beverage maker, recognized for Hibiki whisky, beforehand featured Hokuto Matsumura of SixTONES in its advertisements.
In a current interview with the native Asahi newspaper, which isn’t associated to the beverage maker, Asahi Group CEO Atsushi Katsuki mentioned he was shocked when Johnny’s publicly acknowledged the historical past of sexual assaults actually occurred.
“If we proceed with our contracts, it will be as if we’re condoning human rights violations,” he mentioned.