Hairaichi’s Remarks Spark Uproar on Social Media Over Kayo Noro’s Physique | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hairaichi’s Remarks Spark Uproar on Social Media Over Kayo Noro’s Physique

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Hairaichi Iwai, who married his wife Sakatsuki Okumori in November 2023.

On May 9th, Harai Chi’s Iwai Yuuki updated his X and caused a stir by posting comments mocking the physique of Kayo Noro, who was appearing on “Downtown DX” (Nippon TV). 

Iwai posted a picture of Noro, who appeared on the same day’s broadcast of “Downtown DX” (Yomiuri TV/Nippon TV), along with the comment “Noro-san, you’re big,” sparking criticism on some social media platforms. Although Noro herself responded without seeming to mind, thus avoiding a major issue, some on social media continued to criticize, saying, “Iwai may make non-conforming remarks as his selling point, but this is different,” and “Don’t do the same thing as boring guys who joke around in the workplace.”

Indeed, even in the world of comedy, there still exist comedians who not only mock others’ appearances as jokes but also make their own appearances the subject of laughter, even in the Reiwa era. However, times have changed.

“In an era when even the term appearance ridicule didn’t exist, it was never really acceptable. Now, with compliance being loudly advocated, not only harassment and sexual harassment but also lookism is severely condemned. Television, which many people watch, requires particular attention.

Even if it’s comedy, it can’t be ignored. Complaints can come directly to the program, the TV station, or even the program’s sponsors, and in the worst case, it could lead to the show being cancelled.” (Major TV variety show producer)

In the past, there was a genre called beat-up comedy, and there were many duos that got laughs by hitting or kicking their partners, but that term itself is becoming obsolete. While it still exists, the number of such duos is certainly decreasing.

Not only violent acts but also staple pranks and penalties on variety shows, such as setting traps or throwing pies, have become more subdued due to safety concerns. In such times, especially on social media, teasing the appearance of fellow professionals or talents is not acceptable, even if it’s meant as a joke. It’s natural for criticism to be directed at Iwai. However, there are voices like these as well.

“In the industry, there are still views that approve of beating and teasing appearances. For instance, the pranks on Kuro-chan on ‘Miyakyu no Downtown’ (TBS) or the cold-water pranks on female comedians in the ‘World Endurance Traveler’ (Nippon TV) hot spring enthusiasts club. There’s also body height teasing of Iguchi Hiroyuki from ‘Westland’.

To be honest, the truth from the production side is, ‘As long as complaints don’t come to the TV stations, it’s okay,’ and the use of ‘teasing comedy’ as an escape in production will continue for a while,” says a director of commercial variety shows.

However, in the times ahead, both comedians and entertainers need to compete with humor that doesn’t provoke anger, according to executives at entertainment agencies with many comedy talents.

“Talents who maintain their popularity for a long time don’t speak ill of others or shower them with abuse without reason. Representative examples include George Tokoro. Tamori and Shoufukutei Tsurubei are the same, and even someone as sharp-tongued as Hiroyuki Ariyoshi has gained more fans with a change in character.

Even the original sharp-tongued talent like Beat Takeshi doesn’t attack others without reason. There’s always an impression of sharp words being spoken from Emiko Shōnuma and, in the world of comedy duos, ‘Sandwich Man’ is the same. That’s why they’re loved by many people for a long time.”

The sentiment of comedians being outrageous because they’re comedians and that’s funny won’t disappear, but it’s imperative to remember that trying to belittle others for the sake of laughter is no longer comedy or a joke.

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Kayo Noro is a very successful actor. On the right is Sakura Ando (’23 March 3 and 10 issue).
Harai would want Yusuke Sazabe (center), who provides laughter that is kind to people, to learn a little from Masaki Okada (right) of “Savas”. (September 2013)
  • PHOTO Ippei Hara, Kenji Sugawara, Makoto Kuwata

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