Sunday, February 09, 2014

Thoughts on the neverending "Ashita, Mama ga inai" saga

Each day passes with hearing a fresh complaint or repeated grouses about this drama in the press that frankly speaking, it's getting a bit too much to bear. The previous week saw NTV explaining its stand again in an official response statement and even promising to make changes to the drama so as to pacify the protesting parties. Amid all the bad press, I came across the following article mentioning a former politician cum celebrity Tachikawa Asuka who spoke of her days in an orphanage and the harsh treatment she underwent. She was especially critical of the protesting parties and said that if they had the time to complain against the drama, they should divert their time and energy to improving the situation in welfare homes instead of denying that there are no facilities which treat the children in an abusive manner and trying to shift the attention elsewhere.

Tachikawa was raised in an all-girls orphanage located in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, and stayed there when she was 3 to 18 years old. According to the interview in Sponichi, she said that she experienced even worse treatment at the orphanage than what was described in the drama so she feels that the drama is a good starting point for people to learn about the truth behind the doors of such welfare facilities. Tachikawa mentioned that when she was a child, she didn't get to wear nice clothes like what Ashida Mana wore in the drama and everyone had their hair forcibly cut short. In addition, she was made to wear a paper sign saying "I am a idiot" pasted on her stomach and stand for everyone to see. Last but not least, she was even punished to kneel inside a paper box overnight and slapped repeatedly until she heard ringing sounds in her ears.

I wouldn't say that the protesting parties have no valid reason to complain but seriously, how much will be enough to pacify them? Apologies to everyone? Apologies to the children who were affected by the drama? Amending the drama's content? Or cancelling the entire drama even though we are halfway through the season? All this to-and-fro interactions between both sides seem to be never-ending and it looks like the controversy may jolly well die down only when the drama finishes its run next month. There have been some celebrities who spoke on this issue and giving their support to NTV but surprisingly, they have not been featured prominently in the media as compared to the protesting parties which had been holding frequent press conferences to illustrate their points. It's as if we are getting a lopsided view of the controversy where NTV was painted as the villain in the first place for seeking such ways to boost the popularity of the drama through the negative press. However, the sponsors pulling out and constant social pressure proved too much for them in the end thus resulting in NTV having to make changes now. Frankly, I am most reluctant to see NTV making changes to the drama due to the pressure especially after it tried to hold on to its stand of protecting its production. I don't know how these changes will affect the drama but if it tries to become politically-correct just to please the protesting parties, I think the drama would have become an unfortunate sacrificial lamb in the whole controversy. Aiming to become the second "Ienakiko"? If the changes really do alter the course of the drama significantly, I certainly don't think it will ever achieve its initial ambition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

but rating which still be better than top 4 in this season.