Japanese celebrity “scandals” are so stupid, it almost catches you off guard when a real one happens.
The media seems to love Johnny’s gossip, but the most biting scandal of 2008 was probably of Arashi’s Ohno smoking pot – a rumor that fizzled out when there was no proof, and all the magazine ended up proving was that Ohno actually got laid and that Johnny’s will ruthlessly cut your business down if you hurt their prized moneymakers. So far for 2009? Yawn-worthy girlfriend rumors – oh, and that Nishikido Ryo rear ended a lady on the highway. Leave it to SMAP to have an actual scandal.
The facts are pretty clear cut and has been well covered by all news sources: (sanspo, tokyograph) Kusanagi Tsuyoshi got drunk, went out in the park screaming like loud drunks do, and somehow the alcohol made him want to get naked, I guess. He got arrested for public indecency and is currently still detained. He has already been taken off television for his CMs and his position on numerous other shows is still uncertain.
Johnny’s has issued a bland apology statement that they don’t know what Kusanagi was doing that day; obviously, this isn’t just some paparazzi scandal some cold hard yen can cover up.
This is an actual crime, so he’ll inevitably have some sort of punishment from law enforcement, although it probably won’t be too bad. The problem though would be his career. When his groupmember Goro ran from the cops for a parking ticket, he was suspended for half a year. Although public drunkeness and nudity isn’t as harsh a crime, Kusanagi still faces possible suspension and definite halt of work. Also, Kusanagi currently holds a “good” image: softspoken member of SMAP, appearing in ads for the government and acting in romantic dramas and films – the image not associated with someone who goes wild after a night of drinking.
Of course, since he is a SMAP member, his popularity will undoubtedly allow him to return to work in showbiz – a luxury granted by his popularity that few in Johnny’s Jimusho can have. However, his career will definitely suffer: SMAP is still wildly popular but not as relevant as it was five years ago; will he be able to rebuild his shattered image? And how will his longtime fans react, now that their idol – usually calm and reserved – has shown such a wild other side to himself?
I must wonder: as one of the most popular men in Japan, with work continuing to pour in even after so many years in the industry – what’s the chip on his shoulder, getting drunk then screaming his woes to the world in a park while unclothed? Is the Japanese entertainment industry and Johnny’s really so hard to deal with? Are drunk scream sessions common for him? In such an embarrassing public situation, we’ll probably receive a bland and apologetic statement from Kusanagi never hear the actual truth behind this from the man himself – so after all that’s said and finished, it’ll be the one question that will always hang in the air.
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