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Survey of Japanese entertainment industry workers reveals power and sexual harassment

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TOKYO – A survey of actors, models, artists, musicians, film production staff, etc. in the Japanese culture and arts industry revealed shocking examples of harassment unique to the culture and arts industry.

“The producers asked me if I would be their mistress in return for making me famous.” “For seven years they told me I was ugly.” These are some of the responses to a questionnaire conducted by Arts Workers Japan, a general incorporated association for the culture and arts industry.

A total of 418 people responded to the online survey recommended by various organizations from June 23 to August 31, and the association announced the results on its website on September 6.

Of the respondents, 46.2% were actors, models, singers and other performers. 30.6% were artists, writers, reporters, screenwriters and other media people outside the visual content field. 23.2% were film and television production staff, broadcasters, directors and other film industry workers. Overall 29.9% were male and 67.2% were female. Unemployed people such as freelancers are 77.7%.

When asked if they had ever been harassed, or had seen or heard of harassment, 383 respondents (93.2%) indicated that the most common form of harassment was ” Power harassment” was mentioned. industry sector. “Sexual harassment” was his second most common form, chosen by 73.5% (302 respondents).

When asked what kind of damage they suffered, the most common response was “psychological attacks such as threats, defamation, and insults,” cited by 346 respondents (83%).

There were 237 specific examples of such harassment. It can be roughly divided into serious sexual harassment, power harassment, and cases of being forced to work unfairly at low wages. Some cases of sexual harassment involved serious harm that could warrant criminal investigations.

The subcontracting structure is often complicated for work related to performing arts and culture, and contractual relationships such as wages are often ambiguous. This is because contracts go through multiple stages, from ordering sponsors to advertising agencies, broadcasters, production companies and affiliated offices.

One respondent complained, “The fee was unreasonably reduced.

Megumi Morisaki, chairman of the association, said, “Survey results show that (workers) are structurally susceptible to harassment under these circumstances.” The Power Harassment Prevention Act, officially called the Act on Comprehensive Promotion of Labor Measures, Stabilization of Workers’ Employment and Enrichment of Working Life, was enforced in June 2020. freelancer.

“There is an urgent need to include freelance workers who are not covered by the law,” Morisaki stressed.

Lawyer Yamato Sato, who is familiar with labor issues in the entertainment industry, said, “We often hear from workers that they are not informed of the details of the contract for the work they have done because they sign contracts directly with production companies. Unilateral orders have been given to them and they are forced to carry them out.”

(Japanese original by Asami Yoshinaga, City News Department)