Finally, Sho Sakurai of “Arashi” also commented…TV stations are being forced to “move away from discovery” toward entertainment professionals due to the issue of Mr. Janie Kitagawa. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Finally, Sho Sakurai of “Arashi” also commented…TV stations are being forced to “move away from discovery” toward entertainment professionals due to the issue of Mr. Janie Kitagawa.

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Keiko Fujishima Julie Keiko explains in a video. The relationship between the Johnny’s’s office and the TV station has been called into question and …… (from the official website).

As time goes by and bigger news is reported, interest wanes and eventually it is forgotten. ……

The usual reaction to entertainment news is, “Oh, by the way, what happened to that thing?”

But this issue should not be allowed to fade away so easily. The late Johnny’s’s founder, Mr. Kitagawa, was involved in a sexual assault scandal.

Not that much time has passed, and now the issue is barely reported in the Internet news bulletins and some weekly magazines, and the issue is rarely covered on TV anymore.

In such a situation, on June 5, Sho Sakurai of “Arashi,” who is the Monday anchor of “news zero” (NTV), mentioned the issue of Mr. Janie Kitagawa for the first time. With tears in his eyes,

I hope that Johnny’s will investigate what was going on, without forcing open the mouths of those who don’t want to talk, and with a firm commitment to protecting their privacy.”

I told him. Sakurai has remained silent on the issue for a long time.

One can imagine that he must have been conflicted about it, but he also has another position as a news anchor. That is why his words and actions were closely watched, and the fact that the program did not encourage him to speak out is also questionable. It is no wonder that the program side did not encourage him to speak out.

As former Johnny’s Jr. member Cowan Okamoto said at the press conference, if TV had reported on the trial between the Johnny’s office and the Weekly Bunshun, the number of victims might have been reduced. Television is to blame, after all.

Since the problem came to light, each TV station has mentioned the issue in various ways, such as having MCs and commentators speak about it in their own wide-ranging programs, airing special programs, and making comments at regular presidential press conferences, but so far all that can be heard are statements of regret. There is no indication that they are pursuing this issue further.

The TV stations were blamed because they were seen to be making disciplinary actions toward the Johnny’s office, but the industry and the public are now focusing on how they will improve their relationships with the entertainment agencies, including Johnny’s.

A former producer at a key station who has been involved in the production of programs featuring Johnny’s talent for many years said, “The TV station’s discovery and the discovery of the show’s popularity are not the only issues that need to be addressed.

Before the discovery of TV stations and pressure from offices became an issue, it was commonplace for producers and offices to have a cozy relationship. Eventually, the offices realized that it was better to get along with higher-ups than to embrace the producers, and they began to eat into the programming bureaus.

The field cannot defy them if they are told to do so by the production department. …… I remember that it was Johnny’s that took the initiative. Still, in the beginning, I think TV was better.”

Before long, he says, the entertainment agency’s position became superior.

They would say, “Don’t put any talent on the show that competes with our talent.
If you put that talent on the show, we’ll pull out.
If you report a scandal involving one of our talents, we will think twice.

It has been a common topic of conversation among the general public for many years now.

It’s an embarrassing story. But I think it’s a good opportunity to have Mr. Janney’s story come out this time. This is a good opportunity to get back to the way things were before, not only with Johnny’s but also with entertainment companies. Like when NTV broke up with Watanabe Productions (“Nabepro”) all those years ago, so that we can deal with them on equal footing.”

The former producer continued.

What was the “war” between Nippon TV and NABEPRO?

Although now ambiguous, there has long been a vague rule in the TV industry that TV personalities are not allowed to appear in back-up programs aired in the same time slot. It is not just the talent. It was also taboo for talent from the same agency to appear in backstage programs.

In 1973, this rule led to a clash between Nippon TV and NABEPRO. I won’t go into the details, but Nippon TV firmly refused NABEPRO’s unreasonable demands and the relationship broke down. The relationship has now been restored, but the episode has been passed down through the generations among TV workers.

It seems unlikely that the TV station will be able to change so easily even if it is under a barrage of criticism for this issue, but there is a movement within the TV station, especially among younger employees, to review the relationship with the entertainment agency.

One example is from last year. Last year, for example, a radio program in which a talent from a major agency was the MC was abruptly terminated. The cause was a “coup d’etat” by the production staff, who could no longer stand the power harassment of the talent. It seems that the power harassment had been going on for a long time, but the previous producer was too reserved with the talent and did not listen to them.

However, the new producer who was put in charge of the program listened carefully to the voices of the front line staff, and he told the top management that he could not allow the program to continue any longer. In the past, the upper management would have made a discovery to the office and replaced the staff, but they did not do so. There are still some old people who are beholden to the office, but there is a steady shift to a younger generation that is not beholden to the office,” said a producer at a key station.

It is not only entertainment agencies that need to change. The same applies to politicians and sponsors.
Now is the time to take action.

  • Interview and text by Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Hiroyuki Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting numerous scoops during his time with FRIDAY and later working mainly for the weekly magazine. Recently, he has been appearing on TV and radio as a commentator.

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