While the company has been trying to push for organisers not to punish their artistes for the sins of their late founder, it was revealed that stars of the agency formerly known as Johnny & Associates have been excluded from the annual year-end show, “Kohaku Uta Gassen”.
As reported on Mingpao, broadcaster NHK announced the list of the performers on 14 November, with stars of Johnny, the talent management agency that is now known by the name Smile-Up, were not listed at all. NHK instead invited Korean boy groups like Seventeen, Stray Kids and girl group Twice sub-unit MISAMO, as well as Japanese anime female singer Ado to support the show.
It is noted that this is the first time in 44 years that NHK has not invited artistes of the said agency, as Johnny’s would usually send five to seven boy bands like Arashi and SMAP yearly for the show.
NHK also reiterated its “respect for human rights policy” and opposes discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, age or political ideology. It also rejects forced labour and hopes to ensure that performers work in a physically and mentally healthy environment.
It is noted that the live ratings of “Kohaku” have been deteriorating in recent years. Last year, the average rating was 33.2%, and the year before last it hit a new low of 32.9%.