On April 4, Shukan Josei PRIME released an article in which several actresses anonymously accused director Sono Sion of sexual harrassment. He is said to have boasted of making sexual advances towards “most of [his] leading ladies.” Sono’s predatory behavior has been linked to his acting workshop.
Today, in response to the accusations, Sono’s company released a statement which read, “To whom it may concern. Thank you very much for your continued support. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and concern this may have caused to all parties concerned. We will make a new announcement after sorting out the facts.” His upcoming acting workshop was also canceled.
In response to the statement from Sono’s company, Milla Araki, a self-described “former actress” and “sexual victim in the Japanese entertainment world”, took to Twitter to accuse Sono. On March 19, she called him to see if he would “agree to cooperate in supporting sexual abuse victims.” “Of course, he said, ‘That’s impossible for me’,” she reported.
Actor Matsuzaki Yuki tweeted about Sono’s history of sexual harassment and power harassment before the article was released. “This was the Sono usual MO — There are dozens of victims,” he tweeted.
In response to the Shukan Josei PRIME report, he tweeted, “Do you believe me now?” In another post, he tweeted, “Now that Sion Sono is outed as a sexual predator who preys on young actresses luring them with roles in his films, I wonder if ANY of the major Japanese film studios and TV networks would condemn such predatory practices?”
Also today, actor Tak Sakaguchi came forward and apologized for the role he played in the sexual assault of an actress at the hands of Sono.
Artist Ryoko Kose also shared her assault story today.