October 09, 2017
TV Show Made Gay Character Resurrected Posts Apology on Website
On October 16th, 2017, Fuji TV posted a text apology on the official webpage of the comedy show, Minasan no Okagedeshita, for letting the gay character, Homoo Homooda, to appear in the show for the first time in 28 years in the 30th anniversary show that was aired on September 28th. Though Homoo Homooda was one of the most popular characters in the show back when it aired 28 years ago, over the course of time, perception of LGBT has changed for the better in Japan, and the resurrection in the show in September was seen as offensive portrayal of a gay man, and a lot of viewers complained about the resurrection. The incident was reported on critically by many Japanese media outlets. The incident drew foreign attention as well and was reported on by British media, Gaystar News and Human Rights Watch.
Below is the translation of the apology.
In Tunnels no Minasan no Okagedeshita’s 30th Anniversary Special Program that was aired on September 28th, 2017, a comedian portrayed the character, Homooda Homoo. However, as the the program was aired, we received a lot of complaints.
The show was created without any intention of mocking the sexual minority, LGBT, but we received your opinion that “homo” is a discriminatory term for gay people. We deeply apologize that we made many viewers, including sexual minorities, feel uncomfortable by using such word without thinking much, we carelessly allowed the portrayal of a gay man that can be perceived as mockery. We are deeply reflecting on our actions about our inadequate knowledge on the impression that this character was giving for a long time. We did not have a grasp of the effect that this would have on children, and the LGBT community.
We sincerely accept your criticism and opinions that we have received this time. We would like to equip ourselves with the right knowledge to realize our society with diversity and strive to create better shows.
The majority of public’s opinion are critical of the resurrection. However, there are people who argue that the public and media are overreacting.
For example a crossdresser entertainer, Mitz Mangrove, says that how people react is different depending on each person. Mongrove says that Homoo Homooda was a breakthrough in his life that liberated the sensitive part of him.