The scandal over celebrity Mona Yamamoto, 32, hit Fuji TV and resulted in her withdrawal from “Sakiyomi” news program after only one appearance. Much criticism concerned her inappropriate behavior as a TV anchor. But was her behavior really as irregular and immoral as critics say?
Well-known TV anchor and journalist Yuko Ando, 49, whom Yamamoto took over for on "Sakiyomi," reportedly had adulterous affairs twice. She had a relationship with a married man who finally divorced and married her in 1989. That marriage ended in divorce and Ando again married a news producer in 2006 after a 10-year adulterous affair with him. But she never had to give up her news programs in disgrace.
Ex-NHK announcer and freelancer Mitsuyo Kusano, 41, was also reported to have had an affair with a married man during her regular appearance on a news program in 2002. Although she denied the claims, she was never penalized in any way by her network.
What makes the recent cases a big deal? Media critic Yoichi Matsuo points out that the reaction of sponsor companies is more important than TV anchors themselves. He says, “If you are going to punish announcers who are employees of TV stations, then their bosses also have to take responsibility for a scandal, and that puts sponsors in an awkward position. Hence, TV stations tend to make softer decisions with one scapegoat. In the case of freelancers, it totally depends on sponsor companies. If the sponsors complain about the scandal, TV producers can attribute it to bad management by freelancers' agents.”
What is clear is that TV stations don't have any universal morality. Some might be sympathetic toward Yamamoto who has lost all her jobs on TV, radio and ads. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today