Johnny’s’s Crown Shows May Be Discontinued All Together” A “Critical Phase” Facing Johnny’s Empire
President Keiko Fujishima's "unprecedented apology video" is released.
Since he filed a lawsuit against the Weekly Bunshun in 1999 over allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Janney, it would be unreasonable for Mr. Julie to say that he did not know about it. Even so, the fact that the domestic media, which until now had remained silent out of fear of Johnny’s prestige, began to report on this issue one after another, probably forced him to make a move.
On the evening of May 14, the “apology video” released on the official website of the Johnny’s office by its president, Keiko Fujishima Julie (56), caused a stir. The video refers to the alleged sexual assault of the company’s founder, Janie Kitagawa (87 years old), who passed away in 2007. The accusations were made in response to a BBC documentary program and in the face of accusations by former Johnny’s Jr. member Cowan Okamoto, 26, and others.
It is unprecedented for the president of a major entertainment agency to release an apology video. In response, the media and advertising world, which Johnny’s has long had a grip on, is upset.
A producer at a key station says, “We can no longer talk about Mr. Janney’s episode on TV ever again.
The Japanese TV stations won’t do anything about it right away. However, it has become more difficult for youngsters to make a spectacular debut with the media involved, as has been the case in the past.
A commercial TV executive continued.
If the programs featuring Johnny’s talents in the July season do not receive high ratings, there will be no need to force their use. The possibility cannot be ruled out that Johnny’s’s crown program will be cancelled all together. 24-Hour TV (Nippon TV), which has used Johnny’s talent every year, may also make major changes in its programming.
A senior executive at an advertising agency said, “Sponsors are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
The sponsors are taking a wait-and-see attitude. The fact that Mr. Janney is now deceased was a big factor. However, it is true that it has become more difficult to use Johnny’s talents. Some of the talents are likely to leave the company in order to avoid having their image tarnished.
There is also a possibility that former talents who have been sexually assaulted will file a class-action lawsuit against Johnny’s. “The company’s representatives are not allowed to sue in connection with their work,” said Mitsuki Okamoto, an attorney at Okamoto Sogo Law Office who specializes in civil lawsuits.
The company is jointly and severally liable for any illegal acts committed by the company’s representatives in connection with their work. Although the firm has stated that it will ‘thoroughly prevent recurrence and investigate the actual situation,’ if this is not done, there is no possibility that the former talent will bring a lawsuit in order to clarify the truth.
We want to be a normal entertainment agency.”
If the past is revealed in detail, further criticism will come from all over the world. If the past is kept quiet, not only will fans lose confidence in the company, but the “rush” of talent to leave the company will accelerate. Which will President Julie choose?
Before his death, Mr. Janney’s dream was to nurture artists who would become No. 1 artists in the United States. However, the criticism from overseas, which is particularly harsh on the issue of sexual assault, has made it hopeless for the group to advance internationally. They will become more and more “idols in seclusion. The change of the name “Johnny’s” should be considered.
On the other hand, President Julie told people around her that she wanted to create a regular entertainment agency. It seems that he wants to nurture talents like Toma Ikuta (38) and Shunsuke Kazama (39) who can be active without debuting with a group. But if that happens, Johnny’s will never produce a group that represents the times like SMAP or Arashi,” said a senior entertainment executive.
The future of Johnny’s, which is facing a major headwind, depends on the presence of former V6 member Yoshihiko Inohara (47), who is now president of the subsidiary “Johnny’s Island.
Inohara has been responsible for the clean image of Johnny’s both internally and externally. He has been taking on the task of pitching new Johnny’s talents to advertising agencies and TV station executives, and he will be a key player in the future. However, although he has remained silent so far, Inohara is in a situation where he cannot simply say that he “did not know” about Janney’s case. As President Julie’s ‘business partner,’ Inohara’s words and actions have serious implications.
Inohara is the real leader in the hierarchy of Johnny’s and is himself the MC of the news program “Sunday Live! (TV Asahi), visited the home of Noriyuki Higashiyama, 56, who himself is the MC of the news program “Sunday LIVE! However, as soon as he spotted the reporter, Higashi’s car drove away from in front of his house.
Johnny’s, which reigns supreme in the entertainment industry, is now facing an unprecedentedly grave situation.
From the June 2, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
PHOTO.： Makoto Kuwata, Yusuke Kondo, Ippei Hara, Kyodo News