Monday, April 27, 2009

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi apologizes for his drunken romp, but is the damage already done?

by Chris MaGee

Last week a media firestorm erupted in Japan after 34-year-old actor and SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi was arrested for causing a disturbance and public indecency after running around a Tokyo park drunk and totally naked. Despite immediate apologies by SMAP's talent agency Johnny's Jimusho and Kusanagi's personal manager ad campaigns and TV spots featuring the star of such films as "The Sinking of Japan" and "My Darling of the Mountains" were quickly pulled. Now Kusanagi himself has stepped forward to apologize for his naked bender, but many people in Japan are wondering if the damage can be undone.

A conservatively dressed ( I didn't want to say soberly dressed) Kusanagi appeared to make a public apology at a packed press conference held in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Friday. "As an adult, my actions were embarrassing. I deeply regret what I did," Kusanagi told the assembled reporters, "I caused a lot of concern and trouble to my fans, concerned parties, and my fellow members of SMAP. I'm really sorry." He went onto explain that all he remembers of the night was having five beers and two cups of shochu and that "I sometimes drink to the extent I lose myself." Kusanagi then ended the press conference with a deep bow.

You have to give Kusanagi points for stepping up like that, but the folks over at Japan Zone have already been throwing around numbers to try and arrive at the final financial cost of the scandal. At the time of his arrest Kusanagi had seven commercial endorsement contracts on the go as well as eight TV shows on the air. With sponsors pulling the plug on these one after the other analysts are estimating that Kusanagi's naked romp could cost as much as ¥5 billion! That's a pretty expensive drunk.

In the end I just have to say that I hope that Kusanagi-san reevaluates his drinking habits and chooses to seek help if he believes they've gotten out of hand. Now I suggest that we all just let him go sleep this whole thing off.

Thanks to China Review News for the above image.

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