Japan's public broadcaster NHK announced Monday a list of singers who will perform in its year-end live music show, omitting artists from what used to be Johnny & Associates Inc. after the male talent agency admitted to decades of sexual abuse by its late founder.
It is the first time in 44 years that NHK has not called up performers from the agency, renamed Smile-Up Inc. last month, for its annual show "Kohaku Uta Gassen," or red and white song battle, in which singers are divided into male and female teams.
Johnny's had fielded around five to seven boy bands on the program in recent years.
The broadcaster has suspended new contracts with the agency's performers in the wake of the airing of a BBC documentary in March featuring interviews with multiple people claiming to have been abused by the company's founder Johnny Kitagawa, who died in 2019.
The entertainment behemoth was formed in 1962 and went on to propel SMAP, Arashi and numerous other groups to stardom.