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Johnny's Rebrands as Smile-Up Following Sex Abuse Scandal

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Japanese Music Company Rebrands as Smile-Up After Sex Abuse Scandal

Tokyo-based entertainment company Johnny & Associates, known for its founder's sexual abuse of hundreds of boys over several decades, has officially changed its name to Smile-Up. The company has also pledged to prioritize compensating the victims of the abuse. Noriyuki Higashiyama, the new leader of the company and a former star at Johnny's, announced that Johnny & Associates will eventually dissolve, but its performers will have the opportunity to join an independent company. The new company's name will be determined through a public vote by Johnny's fans.

Focusing on Healing and Compensation

Higashiyama emphasized the importance of healing and compensation for the victims, acknowledging that the wounds caused by the abuse are not easily healed. The company has received applications from 325 individuals for its compensation program, and payments will commence next month. The specific amount of compensation has yet to be determined.

Reckoning with the Past

The revelations of sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa, the company's late founder, have prompted a reckoning within the industry. Victims, many of whom were performers and backup dancers as teenagers and children, have come forward to share their experiences. Kitagawa was never charged, but the Japanese Supreme Court confirmed the accuracy of the sexual allegations against him two decades ago. The scandal has led to increased scrutiny of the media's silence on the issue and a push for legal changes to extend the statute of limitations for civil damages. In conclusion, the rebranding of Johnny & Associates as Smile-Up represents a significant step towards addressing the sex abuse scandal and providing support for the victims. The company's commitment to compensation and healing is crucial in fostering a safer and more accountable entertainment industry in Japan.

A New Era for the Japanese Music Industry: The Impact of Smile-Up's Rebranding

The rebranding of Tokyo-based entertainment company Johnny & Associates to Smile-Up, following a sex abuse scandal, could have profound implications for new businesses in the industry. The company's commitment to compensating victims and fostering a safer environment sends a clear message that accountability and transparency are crucial in today's entertainment world.

Setting a Precedent for New Businesses

New businesses entering the industry will need to be mindful of this shift in expectations. They will be required to prioritize safety and accountability in their operations, ensuring that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

Opportunities for Change and Growth

This situation also presents opportunities for new businesses. They can position themselves as champions of change, committed to creating safe, inclusive environments for all performers. This could help them attract talent and build trust with audiences, potentially giving them a competitive edge.
Learning from the Past
The Smile-Up rebranding serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ethical business practices. New businesses must learn from these past mistakes and strive to create a better future for the entertainment industry. This commitment to change and growth could ultimately lead to a more robust, resilient, and respected industry.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/johnnys-becomes-smile-up-japanese-music-company-hit-with-sex-abuse-scandal-takes-on-a-new-name
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