Johnny’s to Disappear on Japanese TV After Sexual Abuse Scandal | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Johnny’s to Disappear on Japanese TV After Sexual Abuse Scandal

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
A press conference was held on September 7, but the lack of specifics drew heavy criticism, and an additional press conference is scheduled for October 2, at which the company’s name change and other details are expected to be announced.“We have been quiet in the past, but companies need to reflect on that. Now we must speak up.”These were the comments of Takeshi Niinami, 64, president of Suntory Holdings and chairman of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), in an interview with the Financial Times. He said that using celebrities from the Johnny & Associates in advertisements “is a corporate admission of child abuse”


Major companies including Suntory, Japan Airlines, Nissan, Kirin, and Shiseido have already announced that they will no longer be renewing any contracts from Johnny’s artists in their advertisements. While the long-standing issue of sexual assault by the late Johnny’s founder, Mr. Kitagawa, must be properly addressed by the agency and sufficient measures must be taken to prevent its recurrence. For the time being, the distance from sponsors is expected to continue.


Meanwhile, there has not been any dramatic changes in the TV industry. In fact, Kazunari Ninomiya (40) was selected to play the main role in “One Day: Seiya no kara Sawagi” (Fuji TV), Masaki Aiba (40) played the main role in “Kyo Kara Hitman” (TV Asahi), and Fuma Kikuchi (28) of Sexy Zone will also play the main role in “Zeicho – “haraenai” ni wa wake ga aru” (NTV).

Mr. Johnny Kitagawa before his death. An estimate of more than 400 people are allegedly victims of sexual abuse. At first glance, the relationship with the TV stations appears to be as strong as ever and the impact of the scandal seems to be minimal. However, the standpoint of the TV stations has begun to change gradually. NHK Chairman Nobuo Inaba said at a regular press conference that, “The primary stance of the NHK is that the artists already contractually scheduled to appear on the program will continue to do so, but new contracts will not be made until it is confirmed that efforts are being made to prevent a recurrence of the incident and that compensation for the victims is being steadily implemented.”

At a regular press conference, TV Tokyo’s President Ichiro Ishikawa harshly criticized Johnny’s agency for directly requesting in writing that the company’s name be changed on four occasions.

However, these did not limit Johnny’s course of action to change. 

NTV president Akira Ishizawa said, “At this point, we have not decided yet. TV Asahi made a verbal request to change its company name, and TBS submitted a written request to determine and implement a policy for relief and compensation, report on progress, and announce its human rights action policy. TV stations are now sharply increasing their criticism of Johnny’s.” (source from a key station).

With the headwinds against Johnny’s getting stronger day by day from various quarters, why is it that the exposure of their artists in the fall season is as high as ever? A source in the entertainment industry explained,

“Casting and filming for a drama series starting this fall had already begun before the issue of sexual assault became a scandal. The exposure of Johnny’s artists will continue until next January. However, it is expected to be greatly reduced during the spring reshuffle next April, and this will be a critical point for both the agency and their artists.”


Johnny’s will disappear from Japanese TV dramas. In fact, the stations have already begun to look for ways to produce dramas that do not rely on Johnny’s. The aftermath of the disappearance of Johnny’s will be felt in variety shows and news programs. Rumors are circulating about the demotion of some of Johnny’s signature talents, who serve as MCs for various programs. A source in the entertainment industry said, “Sho Sakurai (41) is the focus of attention. He is the Monday anchor of “News Zero” (NTV), MC of “SHOW Channel for 130 Million People” (NTV) and “Sakurai Ariyoshi the Yakai” (TBS), and has been selected as the Japan Rugby Ambassador 2023 for the ongoing Rugby World Cup in France.”

However, Le Monde, a major newspaper in France, the host country of the Rugby World Cup, took issue with Sakurai’s appointment, saying, “The sexual abuse scandal in Johnny’s agency could affect the image of the Japanese rugby players at the Rugby World Cup. In addition, there is still strong criticisms from viewers regarding his stance on the issue of sexual assault on “News Zero” for which he is the anchor, and it is inevitable that he will be involved in the issue of his future advancement or decline.”

Johnny’s officially announced that it would hold a press conference “regarding the future management of the company” at 2:00 p.m. on October 2. All eyes will be on the future of the company to see if it can break out of its current situation.


FRIDAY Digital is looking forward to receiving information and tips from you. Please send your information to the following information form or to the official Twitter.

Information form:
Official twitter:

  • PHOTO Kazuhiko Nakamura (press conference) Takao Kawakami (Mr. Janney Kitagawa)

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles