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The entertainment industry's understanding of the drug problem is considerably naive as compared with that of the general public. They should take steps to bar those entertainers from making comebacks

9 Comments

Music journalist Kazuhiko Futada, saying that Japan's entertainment industry is half-hearted about anti-drug measures. (Mainichi Shimbun)

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It's plain and simple. We are human and make mistakes. To bar entertainers from making a comeback because of a drug-related crime is discrimination. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. I feel everyone deserves a second chance and if they want to prove they are worthy of it, they have to prove it through good works and become a better role model in society.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some of the best music has been made by people who were habitual drug users, as well as by people who used but had things pretty much under control. Most of them got caught at some point, usually fairly early in their career.

Almost every major name in postwar jazz got involved with heroin at some point: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Ray Charles. Some of those who didn't were into other things Sarah Vaughan was a cokehead. Louis Armstrong was an enthusiastic user of weed throughout his life, and very happy to turn other people on to its benefits. Bing Crosby was into weed. Dinah Washington was a pillhead, and didn't make it to 40.

You couldn't even begin to make a comprehensive list for the 1960s and beyond, but it would included a lot of big names again - Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lennon (everything, including heroin), Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Brian Wilson....

The contribution these people made to the culture carries far greater moral weight than disapproval of their drug use. A lot of them were very messed up people. But the rest of us can just be glad they didn't get completely crushed to please a few people's sense of moral outrage. Substance abuse goes with the territory, even in Japan.

The only solution I can suggest for a music journalist like the one quoted above is that he goes through his collection and removes everything recorded after an artist was arrested for drug possession. That should thin it down nicely, and would be in line with his vision of destroying careers based on a single arrest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Legalise all drugs then there's no crime!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The understanding may be half hearted but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.. Drug facts and Education might be a better route.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pretty dumb view, if every place in the world took that view we would have no musicians, the stones, the beatles, lou reed, Elton john, queen, led zep, thin lizzy, whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, elvis, this list could take all day to compile but I think you get the picture

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can you "bar" anybody in the entertainment industry?

If somebody releases a song and people like it, and buy it, then they're going to be popular... period.

Ridiculous.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If they serve their time then they have a clean slate in my opinion. Otherwise why are they released from prison?

... unless this is somebody trying to issue a wake-up call that prison is a lousy way to reform criminals? In which case I'm 100% behind reforming the "justice" system, but not with stigmatising people for life just because they made a single mistake.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The full quote from - Music journalist Kazuhiko Futada:

"It is difficult for entertainment offices to supervise and manage their entertainers because they cannot poke their nose into friendships particularly of their big-name entertainers." He also said, "The entertainment industry's understanding of the drug problem is considerably naive as compared with that of the general public. They should take steps to bar those entertainers from making comebacks once they commit drug-related crimes."

Is sanctimonious Kazuhiko Futuda proposing the 'entertainment industry' present their own production of 'Kangaroo court' the musical? ........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't see why an entertainer that makes a legal offense not related to his/her job, with no victim, should be banned for life... while most politicians that commit crimes, whose victim is usually taxpayers and voters, are let free to continue their careers and their wrongdoings.

How can you "bar" anybody in the entertainment industry?

In Japan it's pretty simple. There is a club of a few agencies and companies that control 100% of mainstream media. They can decide to terminate someone's career. Then the person can still continue to perform his/her art, but on a much lower scale. Indie scene is nearly inexistent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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