Saturday, April 29, 2017

WOWOW announces measures to prevent overworking by child actors

WOWOW announced via its corporate website on 28 April that it has come up with measures to deal with the issue of overworking by child actors. The issue first came to light through a report by "Bunshun Online" on 1 March about alleged violations of labour laws involving children on the set of the drama "Tokyo Sumikko Gohan" during the filming in January this year. According to the article, the incident happened at the Toei Tokyo Filming Studio in Nerima Ward, Tokyo on 21 January and involved child actor Inagaki Kurumi who is 6 years old. On this day, Inagaki started work at 12 noon and the filming extended all the way to 5am the following day which meant that she was working for 17 hours. It was reported that the director Mishima Yukiko was dissatisfied with Inagaki's acting and made her redo the scene more than 10 times since 3am. Despite the fact that the producer Morii Akira was around as well, he did not stop the filming. Inagaki's mother who was with her that day, had to console her daughter who was crying. It was also alleged that Inagaki went through a similarly long day of filming on the previous day which lasted for 14 hours and ended at 2am. However, according to Japan's labour laws, children below the age of 13 are not allowed to work between 8pm and 5am. The revelation of the violation led to the drama being taken off the broadcast schedule indefinitely even though it was supposed to have been shown from May.

In WOWOW's statement, they apologised for the concern caused and damage to the trust placed in them by their viewers and related parties and admitted that the situation arose due to a lack of awareness and priority placed on safety and compliance issues. To prevent a repeat of the situation, they have specified clear conditions while producing their programmes i.e. ensure safety of the cast and staff, prevent excessive work hours, restrict child actors to work only between 5am and 8pm and not subject them to mental stress or uneasiness. On the side of ensuring compliance, the company also created guidelines and a training system for their staff so as to increase awareness and ensure that these measures are implemented going forward.

Source: Oricon

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