Actor Takaoka Sousuke (29) has been at the center of controversy over the past few days, stemming from some remarks he made on his Twitter account. The incident has led to his resignation from his management agency Stardust Promotion, and it may also result in his removal from a drama series scheduled to start this fall.
It started with a tweet by Takaoka on July 23 in which he criticized Fuji TV (channel 8) for recently showing too many Korean dramas and other Korean-related programming. He remarked, “To be honest, I owe a lot to [channel] 8, but I can’t watch it at all now. I often think it’s a Korean television station. Very often. Even though we Japanese are looking for traditional Japanese shows. For now, whenever something Korean comes on, I turn off the TV.”
That tweet, along with subsequent ones, led many to declare Takaoka as racist of xenophobic. Due to the outraged responses, Takaoka announced on July 28 that he resigned from Stardust Promotion, taking responsibility for the trouble he caused to the staff at his agency. Stardust later confirmed that the decision to terminate his contract was mutually reached after discussing the matter. On his Twitter account, Sousuke acknowledged that it was a natural outcome for such an incident, and he expressed his gratitude to his agency for their work.
Takaoka’s departure from Stardust raises questions about his future work. He was planned to star in a television series directed by Miike Takashi that starts in October, though the show had not yet been officially announced. According to Stardust, it can only be said that it is “undecided” whether Takaoka will still appear in the show. The actor also posted a tweet suggesting that he has doubts about continuing his acting career.
There is also speculation about whether this may affect the career of Takaoka’s wife, actress Miyazaki Aoi (25). Takaoka had to clarify on his Twitter that Miyazaki does not share his views. However, some news outlets are reporting that this has likely caused further damage to their marriage, as this is not the first time that there have been rumors of trouble between them.
After leaving Stardust, Takaoka launched a new blog on Livedoor using the same username as his Twitter account. In the first entry, he explained his current situation starting from his past, revealing that there was a period where he suffered from depression and panic disorder, and he even attempted suicide.
That period was caused by his appearance in the 2005 movie “Pacchigi!” During the promotional phase of the movie, he was interviewed by the Korean media, but the published article contained statements differing from what he had said. As a result, people began labeling him as “anti-Japanese.” Because of the criticism from that, plus the criticism that he received when it was revealed that he was dating Miyazaki, he began visiting a psychiatric hospital and taking sleeping pills to ease his mind.
In the same blog post, Takaoka also expressed his dissatisfaction with the media for airing “irrelevant foreign dramas and biased morning news” instead of more important information they should be providing about the aftermath of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake.