Akito Kiriyama of WEST has been performing in the Broadway musical “Camelot” (October 7-28 at the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo), which will continue at the Shochikuza Theater in Osaka from October 4, and at the end of the Tokyo performance, he allegedly gave “tickets” (invitation tickets) to a friend. The performance will continue at the Shochikuza Theater in Osaka from April 4.
“On the 24th, Mr. X, a male president of a certain company who once appeared on the WEST program, revealed on his Instagram Stories that he had gone to see the film. He also posted a photo of the letter marked ‘Akito K.’. There it read, “Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come today! I hope you enjoy the show to the end.””
In response to this post, the news site Shukan Josei PRIME published an article on the 25th titled “Fans are appalled that Mr. X, who has connections with Kiriyama, arranged the tickets and uploaded a handwritten letter”. Kiriyama then posted the letter on the same day.
Then, on the same day, Kiriyama updated his blog on the FAMILY CLUB web, a membership site. He suddenly mentioned the aforementioned article, saying, “Misleading news was written.” According to Kiriyama, “My acquaintance paid for and purchased a ticket to see the play through the official channels.” In other words, he wanted to insist that his acquaintance did not receive the ticket for “free”. As for the handwritten message, he explained, “Every time I give a handwritten message to a person or friend I know will be coming, I give it with the ticket on the day of the performance.”
“As far as Kiriyama’s blog is concerned, Mr. X probably booked the tickets in person or through his office and paid the proper amount of money to see the play. However, most of the fans were offended not by the fact that he had paid for the tickets, but by the fact that Mr. X, who co-starred with Kiriyama in the show, posted a one-sided letter in Kiriyama’s handwriting, implying that he had been invited to the show. The blog seemed to place top priority on Mr. X’s defense, and it was questionable whether or not it took into account the feelings of these fans.”
Nevertheless, Kiriyama apologized, saying, “I am truly sorry if anyone was offended in the slightest by the news,” and appealed to them to avoid “verbal attacks, etc.” on the other party (Mr. X).
To begin with, tickets related to the former Johnny’s are basically in a fierce competition, and fans are sensitive to so-called “connected tickets”. For example, in 2017, a screenshot of the LINE account of Yuya Tegoshi, then a member of NEWS, circulated on the Internet, and it was revealed that he had invited several friends to a concert.
One of the images that spread was a timeline from March 13, 2015, which read, “To those who I invited to the NEWS concert or those who said they wanted to go,” “I’m really sorry, but the office made a rule of 40 tickets per person from this tour, which is incomprehensible, and I can’t allow everyone to see the show.”
“In the MC for the concert held in Wakayama in the same month, Tekashi explained that his family and friends had also paid to see the show. He stressed that there was no such thing as a “free ticket” in Johnny’s (at that time). In addition, the Internet was also ablaze last November when the three-member YouTuber group “Hella Hella Musketeers” were alleged to have attended a concert of Naniwa Otoko with a “ticket from a friend”. The TV personality Matt, who co-starred with the members in a TV show and entered the venue on an invitation-only basis, posted a commemorative photo of himself with the girls on his Instagram, which caused an uproar. However, Matt later responded to a fan’s comment by saying, “Hella Hella usually buys her own tickets and came separately, and I just happened to meet her on my way home.””
We hope that the Osaka performance of “Camelot” will go off without any trouble.
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PHOTO： Yusuke Kondo