Inagaki Kurumi (6) had a 17-hour work day for WOWOW drama, leads to policy changes

About a month ago, Shukan Bunshun published an expose on WOWOW that alleged the labor laws regarding minors were violated on the set of the drama “Tokyo Sumikko Gohan“. Notably they consistently made six-year-old actress Inagaki Kurumi work grueling hours and showed no remorse even though the mother of the actress frequently had to console her weeping daughter.

On this day, Inagaki started work at 12 noon and the filming extended all the way to 5am the following day which meant that she was working for 17 hours. It was reported that the director Mishima Yukiko was dissatisfied with Inagaki’s acting and made her redo the scene more than 10 times since 3am. Despite the fact that the producer Morii Akira was around as well, he did not stop the filming. Inagaki’s mother who was with her that day, had to console her daughter who was crying. It was also alleged that Inagaki went through a similarly long day of filming on the previous day which lasted for 14 hours and ended at 2am. However, according to Japan’s labour laws, children below the age of 13 are not allowed to work between 8pm and 5am.

Jesus fucking Christ.

You know, it doesn’t surprise me that companies try to skirt labor laws, even when children are involved. However, the fact that they were so callous toward the fucking kid that even her weeping didn’t get them to call it off earlier when they knew they were breaking the law is just shows a certain disregard for the child as a human.

Lest you think these were just accusations by a tabloid, WOWOW confirmed the story and apologized.

WOWOW released a statement on its website where they admitted to the allegations and apologised to Inagaki and her guardians for what happened. In their statement, they confirmed that filming was conducted from 12 noon to 2am on 20 January and from 12 noon to 5am on 21 January. Including the waiting and nap time, Inagaki had to be on the set during these hours. Although they were aware of the labour laws relating to children, the extended filming hours was due to a delay in the filming schedule thus it was decided on the spot to continue filming beyond the designated hours. WOWOW also apologised to the viewers for betraying the trust they had in them and will take measures to regain everyone’s trust and prevent this from happening again.

So recently, in a statement, WOWOW announced new working guidelines for child actors.

In the statement WOWOW apologized for the damage and worry they caused. They revealed that the incident was able to happen due to their carelessness with safety and compliance policies. Moving forward WOWOW has vowed to to improve the conditions for not only child actors, but adult actors as well as staff. New safety precautions for them will take effect immediately, extremely long work hour days will not be allowed, and of course child actors will not work between 8:00PM to 5:00AM in accordance with labor laws. Every single WOWOW staff member will be trained so ensure that these policies continue to happen in the future.

That’s quite vague.

Anyway, fuck the public, apologize to the kid.

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