Japanese director Sono Sion of “Antiporno” fame accused of sexual harassment | People News

Los Angeles: Self-proclaimed maverick Japanese director Sono Sion, known for his raunchy independent films including ‘Love Exposure’ and ‘Antiporno’, has been accused of sexual harassment by several actresses in the Japanese film industry.

The charges were published by news and gossip site Shukan Josei Prime on Monday, ‘Variety’ reports.

In a long article, several actresses make accusations against Sion on condition of anonymity. According to the article, Sion, now 60, boasted that he had made sexual advances to “most of (his) leading ladies”.

Zion’s alleged predatory practices have been linked to his theater workshops.

The filmmaker has yet to offer a public response to the allegations. However, her upcoming acting workshop has been cancelled.

The Japanese film and television industry has long harbored stories of sexual abuse and abuse of power by personalities, but few surface publicly.

The #MeToo movement that swept English-speaking industries after the Harvey Weinstein scandal has not taken hold in Japan, although some incidents are now coming to light.

Sexual harassment allegations were recently made against in-demand actor Kinoshita Houka and director Sakaki Hideo, resulting in the cancellation of the release of the latter’s two most recent films, ‘Confession’ and ‘Harbor Light’.

Actor Matsuzaki Yuki addressed Zion’s history of sexual harassment and power harassment in a Twitter post last Sunday that predated Shukan Josei’s story. “It was that usual Sono MO – There are dozens of victims,” ​​he wrote.

In an English response to Shukan Josei’s report, Matsazuki also tweeted, “Do you believe me now? In another post, he wrote “Now that Sion Sono is portrayed as a sexual predator who preys on young actresses by enticing them with roles in his movies, I wonder if ONE of the major movie studios and networks Japanese television would condemn such predatory practices?”

Although Sion’s career as a filmmaker dates back nearly four decades, his big international breakthrough was 2008’s “Love Exposure,” a nearly four-hour film about the erotic adventures and spiritual journey of a photographer. in a skirt.

Screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009, the film won two awards and won other accolades and awards at home and abroad.

Zion’s combination of eccentric violence and sex, often served up with Christian motifs and classical music scores, has made him a cult figure on the global festival circuit. His successes at home, including the two action comedies “Shinjuku Swan”, released in 2015 and 2017, have made him an in-demand director on the business side of the industry.

Sion has also partnered with Amazon Prime for the 2017 series “Tokyo Vampire Hotel” and Netflix for the 2019 film “Forest of Love” and subsequent miniseries. The filmmaker made his first Hollywood venture with the 2021 dark fantasy “Prisoners of the Ghost Country” starring Nicolas Cage.

Production on the film was halted, however, when Sion suffered a heart attack in 2019 and took months to recover.

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