Behind the scenes of Masahiro Higashide’s “office dismissal” racket, a major entertainment company is behind it. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Behind the scenes of Masahiro Higashide’s “office dismissal” racket, a major entertainment company is behind it.

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After divorcing actress Anzu in 2008 due to infidelity, Masahiro Higashide’s female problems have been a frequent topic of conversation.

Masahiro Higashide is going independent.

According to a report in the February 1 issue of FLASH, Higashide will be leaving his agency, Humanite, on January 31, after being given a three and a half year ultimatum by the agency. He has told those around him that he is going independent, but the fact that he has been given a “three-and-a-half” letter means that he will be “fired”. I wonder if the news report had any effect on him. ……

It was in January 2008 that his affair with Erika Karada came to light. In August of the same year, he announced his divorce from his wife, Anzu. Naturally, there was an outpouring of criticism against him, and he was unable to do his job, including being dropped from commercials, and it was reported that the damages to various parties would be no less than 300 million.

However, as time goes by, the public’s interest in this kind of trouble fades and the bashing stops, and after a year, the criticism of Higashide became less and less, and even though he didn’t appear in any commercials, work as an actor started to come in little by little. There were times when he was ridiculed as a “bad actor who reads his lines with a stick,” but there were people in the film industry who bought him, and things seemed to be gradually improving.

But then the “10,000 yen child support” report came out. The report said that he was paying 10,000 yen per child to Anzu. This was again met with criticism.

He said, “His income last year was roughly estimated to be less than 6 million yen. I think 10,000 yen in childcare costs is reasonable.

If you take into account their financial situation, it seems a pity to blame him for the childcare costs.

But it didn’t end there. In October of last year, the Shukan Bunshun reported that he had a secret meeting with a half-breed beauty in her twenties on the set of a photo shoot, and his reputation, which was on the verge of recovery, went into a tailspin.

It is said that the office lost patience with him and decided to let him leave. In an interview with “Bunshun”, his office replied as follows.

When we checked with him today, it seems that everything is true. If what happened at the location is true, we have to say that it is a very unwise action considering Higashide’s current situation. We will continue to confirm the facts regarding Higashide and consider how to deal with him in the future.

This is a cliché, but we can sense the anger of the office, and we can guess that Higashide will be severely punished.

The result of this will be the “resignation” reported this time, but….

This is an agency whose members have never been involved in a major scandal before, so they are not used to dealing with the mass media, and when the affair was reported, they were criticized in many ways. Not only that, but Mr. Higashide himself was punished by losing his job, but the agency didn’t seem to take any action against him, and he was further criticized for that. So I think he learned that it’s better to show the attitude of the office, even if it’s just a front.

It seems to me that they are just appealing to the public that “we are doing our best” and smelling a severe punishment. If that’s the case, firing is unthinkable. The entertainment industry insider mentioned above is also puzzled by the “firing” report.

He may have been accused of having an affair, but it’s not like he committed any serious crime. It’s not right for him to do it now, but there are many people who have secret meetings on location or at performances that don’t come out.

Recently, Ebizo Ichikawa was also reported…. I’ve never seen anyone fired from an idol agency because of an affair or a secret meeting. If you don’t get any work at all, you’re a burden to the office and you can be fired. But he’s been getting work.

This year, two movies with Higashide in them are scheduled to be released, as far as we know. One is “Toge: The Last Samurai,” whose release was delayed due to the new Covid-19, and the other is “Heavenly Flower,” which was filmed in Hiroshima, where he had a secret meeting with the half-breed woman in question. These films have already been cranked up and are scheduled to be released this winter.

In addition, her starring role in Tokyo Yohkoh’s “Demon and Eternity” will be performed from February 5, 2012, and her original drama “Ningen Kowai” will be broadcast on WOWOW. A film industry insider also commented

A film industry insider said, “His acting is improving, and he is an actor with a strong presence. There are several young directors who want to use him. It’s true that he did something wrong, but in the past, actors were all naughty. As long as they give a good performance, that’s all that matters. He’s not a bad person at heart, and he used to be a bit of a pompous ass, but now he’s not like that anymore, and his co-stars and the staff like him. I’m sure there will be more requests to appear in the future.

So, it doesn’t make sense for the agency to fire him now. However, the office told FLASH that

There’s nothing we can tell you at this time.

But the agency answered to FLASH, “There is nothing we can tell you at this time,” and did not deny that he was leaving the agency. So, what I heard was a bit fishy.

There’s no doubt that she’s leaving the agency, but I don’t think she’s being fired. I’m sure she left the agency, but I don’t think she was fired. If she leaves the agency, she will have to pay for her own compensation.

No matter how much work she has, it will be difficult for her to make it as a freelancer. She must have found a sponsor or a well-financed agency to back her up so that she can go independent and pay the compensation. I’ve also heard that a major agency is working behind the scenes.

The entertainment industry is rife with evil spirits of mountains and rivers. We can’t just take everything at face value. What is the truth behind all this?

  • Reporting and writing Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting on numerous scoops during his time with FRIDAY, and has been active in weekly magazines ever since. He is currently appearing on TV and radio as a commentator.

  • PHOTO Junsei Todoroki

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