Actresses Sunao Suzuki, Kiko Mizuhara, and Ai Hashimoto make an earnest appeal to the “Sexually Harassing Film Industry”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Actresses Sunao Suzuki, Kiko Mizuhara, and Ai Hashimoto make an earnest appeal to the “Sexually Harassing Film Industry”.

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Kiko Mizuhara (left), who made a tearful accusation, and Ai Hashimoto (right), who voiced her approval. Will their cries change the movie industry?

A month has passed since Shukan Bunshun (Weekly Bunshun) reported the “sexual assault” of film director Hideo Sakaki.

The “#Me Too” movement in the Japanese film industry, triggered by the report, has spread even further and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Following the report of director Sakaki’s “misdeeds” by actor Kinoshita Houka, not only “Bunshun,” but other weekly magazines and TV stations are also receiving information one after another.

The April 19 issue of Shukan Josei (Weekly Woman) and the April 14 issue of Shukan Bunshun (Weekly Bunshun) reported allegations of “sexual assault” by director Sion Sono and movie producer Haruyuu Umekawa, respectively. Finally, famous actresses have begun to speak out.

On the website “note,” actress Sunaho Suzuki confessed that she had been abused by a film director in the past, although she did not reveal his name. The post, titled “I felt the urge to write. The post titled “I felt the need to write” is quite long.

It happened more than ten years ago at a dinner after a preview screening of a film. The director asked her what she thought of the preview, and when she honestly said what she thought, she could tell that he was offended because his impression was not what she had expected.

The director then began to talk about his own accomplishments, and then began to abuse her and her past films. Suzuki naturally objected, but the director’s name-calling did not stop. Then he asked

He then asked the director if he had been in a relationship with an actress before. He then started talking about the actresses who had left him, saying that it was to his credit that the actresses who had left him had sold well.

He said, “My mind completely switched to rejection mode.

My mind completely switched to rejection mode.

The director was in the middle of his conversation with her when her cell phone rang and she inadvertently picked it up. The director said

“I’m talking to you and you’re on the phone with your own man! she continued to yell at him.

He continued to yell at her, and finally

“Get out of here. Don’t ever show me an actress like you again.

I’m just stunned. It is a story that is quite appalling. Of course, she got up and left the restaurant.

Model and actress Kiko Mizuhara responded to an interview in the April 21 issue of Shukan Bunshun (April 21) as follows.

I’ve had countless times when male directors have made comments to me that amounted to sexual harassment.

And as for director Sion Sono

I had heard about the director Sion Sono for a long time. Various actors were actually wary of him. When I was offered a film, I was told by an actor friend of mine that I should be careful because of such rumors about Mr. Sono.

He revealed that rumors had been circulating.

Furthermore, in the same magazine published on March 21, Mizukawa said that Mr. Umekawa forced her to show her underarm hair during the filming of the movie “Her,” in which she starred.

Actress Ai Hashimoto also stated on the Instagram story function that Mariko Yamauchi and other female writers jointly went to the movie industry

“As an original author, I call for the eradication of sexual violence and sexual assault in the film industry.”

and to release a document titled

“In addition to those who have helped me, other writers whom I love. I, at least, was saved very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

He expressed his gratitude.

Hashimoto may not have been a victim, but she must have had some feelings about the “sexual assault” that has infested the movie and entertainment industry.

Although we hope that there will be no more victims of sexual assault, it is said by an employee of a movie production company that it is unlikely that the situation will be resolved anytime soon.

As we can see from the stories of Ms. Sunaho Suzuki and Ms. Kiko Mizuhara, this kind of bad “custom” in the movie industry did not start just now, but has been prevalent for years, even more than 10 years ago, or even longer. The “deeds” of the people named in this article are also well known. But perhaps the most culpable of all is the heavy hitters in the film industry who have allowed them to go unchecked for such a long period of time, letting them do whatever they wanted and then stood idly by.

They were in a position to warn the filmmakers, but they allowed them to continue to do so. Among the senior executives of the accused filmmakers, there is a master filmmaker who has repeatedly engaged in sexual and power harassment as well.

One of the senior directors, a master filmmaker who has produced several high-profile films in the past and continues to produce films today, said that the workshop where the directors served as instructors was a place where they could learn from the other directors. It is said that the workshops where the directors taught were hotbeds of sexual harassment, and one of the leading figures was also an instructor there. I heard that the workshop had all participants, both men and women, attend the lecture completely naked.

This is not enough to stop or even warn the “sexual abusers. In fact, from their excuses, it seems as if they are unaware that what they have done is wrong. They have no sense of caution or care.

The number of such acts in the film industry and in the operation of movie theaters has not suddenly increased in recent years. Unfortunately, it has been repeated for a long time.

The statement was released with the names of Hirokazu Kore-eda, Atsuhiko Suwa, Yukiko Saihate, Miwa Nishikawa, Koji Fukada, and Jun Funabashi, and when we asked for supporters of the statement, we received many messages of support from all quarters, with the number exceeding 300 in just a few days and continuing to grow. In just a few days, the number exceeded 300 and continues to grow. Those who agreed to have their names published are listed. Naturally, not all of the filmmakers’ names are listed.

Since it says, “I agreed to have my name published,” it can be taken to mean that those who did not agree were not listed, even though they may have agreed. But if they agreed, there is no reason for them not to consent to their names being published. There may be people who did not notice, but it could be seen that the director whose name is not listed does not approve of the project or is not qualified to approve of it…” (film writer)

When we couldn’t find the names of the directors who were the subject of these accusations on the list, there was a lot of concern among those in the film industry that

I don’t think it’s a surprise. How can I agree with it?

And then, when they couldn’t find the name of the director who was the target of the accusation on the list of film writers, they said, “Of course. And while I could not find the names of the other major figures on the list, I am sure that some of those whose names are not on the list are still dreading the day when they will be….

Needless to say, in order for the film industry to be reborn, it is necessary to drain out the pus that has built up.

  • Interview and text by Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Hiroyuki Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting numerous scoops during his time at FRIDAY and later working mainly for the weekly magazine. Currently, he also appears on TV and radio as a commentator.

  • PHOTO Ippei Hara (Mizuhara, Hashimoto)

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