Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Retirement Rumors and TV Show Concerns | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Retirement Rumors and TV Show Concerns

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Matsumoto has decided to temporarily suspend his entertainment activities. He says that he will focus on his court case, claiming that there is “no basis in fact” for the news reports.

Downtown’s Hitoshi Matsumoto (60) suddenly announced a temporary suspension of his activities after the “Shukan Bunshun” (weekly magazine) reported allegations of forcing him to perform sexual acts on multiple women, and he said he wanted to “confront the various articles and focus on the trial. The sudden suspension has caused a huge stir, involving various TV stations and advertising agencies. The entertainment desk of a sports newspaper reports.

The January 10 issue of Bunshun reported new testimonies from three women about the sexual abuse they suffered from Matsumoto and others. Before this, Matsumoto had hinted on his X (formerly Twitter) that he would appear on “Widener Show” (Fuji TV), where he had been a regular commentator for many years, and Fuji had also officially announced his appearance on the show. However, after discussions with his agency Yoshimoto Kogyo, sponsors, and other related parties, the appearance was cancelled after two or three changes. In addition, Matsumoto had also been appointed as an ambassador for the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo, but Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura (48), who serves as vice president of the Expo Association, has suggested that Matsumoto’s ambassadorial activities for the Expo be suspended.

The TV stations are wondering how to handle Matsumoto’s regular programs in the future.

The programs in which he appears with his partner, Masanori Hamada (60), are being adjusted so that Hamada will be the sole MC. What is difficult is Matsumoto’s four regular programs in which he is the MC. The difficult ones are the four regular programs that Matsumoto himself will MC, including “Detective! Night Scoop,” ABC TV, which airs the February broadcasts, has announced that the regular cast members of “Detective! The program will be broadcast as usual for this month’s episode, which has already been recorded. On the other hand, “Crazy Journey” (TBS), “Hitoshi Matsumoto no sake no tsumami ni naru hanashi” (Fuji TV), and “Matsumo to nakai” (Fuji TV) have not yet decided on their future plans.

There is even talk of Matsumoto “disappearing from the stage. In fact, Matsumoto himself has often referred to his retirement, saying things like “I will retire at the age of 60” or “I will retire at the Osaka-Kansai Expo. He has jokingly stated this on TV, but it was not necessarily a lie.

A staff member at the program production company recalls.

Last spring, Matsumoto-san said on “Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Sake no Tsumami ni Naru Hanashi” (“Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Sake no Tsumami ni Naru Hanashi”), “It’s not that long until I retire from show business. He specifically suggested that he would retire in two years at the earliest, five years at the latest. Soon after, in the same program, he said he was still thinking about retirement, “I am thinking about it. I have several reasons. However, he had already been talking about retirement to his closest associates for about five or six years.

In “Wide Nah Show,” which he left last spring, Matsumoto repeatedly expressed his displeasure at the fact that articles were published that cut out parts of what he said in the program. His motivation and stress continued to be over the limit. However, the situation did not change at all, and in the fall of the year before last, he tweeted meaningfully in his X, “I guess Kiritori articles will never go away…. It’s about time.

Matsumoto has been thinking about retirement for some time. Among them, there was one program in particular that Matsumoto told those around him that it would be tough for him to appear on. A source in the entertainment industry revealed, “Matsumoto-san is the toughest person to appear on the show.

The regular program that Matsumoto said was the toughest for him to appear on was “Downtown DX” (Nippon Television Network). The other programs were not stressful programs, as there were always appearances by junior comedians and TV personalities with whom he had close relationships. However, “Downtown DX” had many first-time guests and others from various genres, which seemed to cause stress and frustration because they had to pay more attention than necessary and could not do what they wanted to do as they wanted. For several years, he was constantly complaining to those close to him.

In addition, compliance in the TV industry is becoming increasingly strict. Combined with the fact that Matsumoto has revolutionized the comedy industry, it must have been a suffocating and stressful time for him year after year. Even if he were to retire, he would have no regrets. I am sure that even if he were to retire at this point, he would have no regrets.

Will the charismatic figure who has reigned at the top of the entertainment world for so long just fade away from the stage?

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  • PHOTO Ippei Hara

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