Editorial: Japan must step up efforts to end harassment in entertainment industry
, 2023-01-28 01:30:22,
Multiple cases of alleged sexual violence and harassment against actors and workers by playwrights and stage managers surfaced last December. The entertainment industry in Japan is asked if it has the determination to break its entrenched harmful customs.
In one such case, an actress sued the director of her theater group for damages, alleging that she had suffered serious sexual violence. She revealed her name during a press conference to make the accusation. Although the group’s leader has denied the accusations, a performance was canceled shortly before its premiere.
Numerous harassment allegations were also made against directors and others with power in the film industry in the spring of 2022.
The closed nature of rehearsal rooms and filming locations has been pointed to as one reason for rampant harassment. Another factor is the fact that casting authority remains primarily in the hands of producers, directors, and stage managers.
Also, the entertainment industry has its own unique structure. Many actors and team members are freelancers who are in weak positions and the power relationship with their clients can be easily distorted.
According to an industry survey conducted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs last fiscal year, 30% of respondents said they “felt unsafe” or “harassed” in their relationships with clients and other figures.
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