In the October 15 issue of Weekly Shicho, the actor, Junichi Ishida, mentioned that three jobs appearing in TV shows and one television commercial were cancelled after he made an unscheduled speech in a rally against security legislation on September 17 and 18.
Though he just wanted to participate in the rally as a citizen, reporters from Jiji Tsushin, Kyodo and NHK interviewed him. The student political organization leading the rally, SEALDs, asked him to make a speech afterward.
Ishida was later reprimanded by a couple of advertising agencies to not attend rallies in front of Parliament and to not make political comments. He stated that this was the first time for him to experience something like this. However, his desire to do good for society was greater than the power of the reprimands.
On October 9, J-CAST News reported that Ishida’s manager at Sky Corporation denied the cancellation of the jobs. The manager said that he does not know exactly what Ishida said to Weekly Shincho, but his comments seemed to show more concern for the speech affecting his career than the canceled jobs. The manager said in regard to the cancellation of the television shows, “They have not changed at all.”
However, the manager said that Ishida’s agency and several companies he has contracts with were not pleased with the speech. They believe there are both proponents and opponents of the security legislation. As a face of corporations, Ishida should be mindful of his public political stances.
In Japan, entertainers generally refrain from conveying political opinions publicly. This is mostly because sponsors require entertainers to have politically neutral images to not affect product advertising.