Sexual Abuse Scandal Pushes Johnny’s to Give Its Entertainers 100% of Appearance Fees for One Year

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Johnny & Associates, Inc. building seen in Minato Ward, Tokyo, in January 2021.

Scandal-rocked Johnny & Associates, Inc. said Wednesday that for a one-year period it will pay its entertainers the full amount of their appearance fees, forgoing its usual commission.

The move is part of measures the all-male talent agency is taking in response to the sexual abuse of its entertainers by founder Johnny Kitagawa, who died in 2019.

Johnny’s also said it will appoint a person outside the company as chief compliance officer when it announces a new management structure on Oct. 2 and will draw up a basic policy on human rights.

“The abuser Johnny Kitagawa and the company’s structure are responsible for the circumstances that have been causing all this trouble,” the agency said in a statement announcing the measures to compensate for the damage and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

The company also said that it has set up a committee to oversee the monetary compensation for abuse victims in line with the recommendations of a third-party panel it had established to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. The committee comprising three lawyers who are former judges will examine each sexual abuse case and decide on the amount of compensation.

During a news conference on Sept. 7, Johnny’s officials admitted that Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused the agency’s entertainers and apologized.

Since that time, companies from Suntory Holdings Ltd. to Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. have been reviewing their relationship with Johnny’s and its entertainers that appear in their commercials.

“This latest move by Johnny’s to forgo commissions might be aimed at reducing criticism of the agency,” said Yoshikazu Saisho, a lawyer with expertise in labor issues. “It can also be seen as an effort to prevent sponsors and its talent pool from leaving.”