Saturday, 11 July

Japanese reality show cancels season after death

Entertainment
Hana Kimura

Japanese Netflix reality show Terrace House has cancelled its current season following the death of cast member and pro-wrestler Hana Kimura.

The 22-year-old had before her death issued a series of social media posts implying she had been cyber-bullied.

News of her death sent shockwaves across Japan, many calling for stricter laws against cyber-bullying.

Terrace House, co-produced by Japan's FujiTV and distributed by Netflix, is now in its fifth season.

"We would like to express our sincere condolences for the death of Hana Kimura," the show said on its Twitter account. "We have decided to cancel the production of Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020."

It is not yet clear if the show will be permanently cancelled, though Netflix confirmed to the BBC that there were "no current plans to take down the latest season of this incredibly loved show".

It added that its latest episodes featuring Kimura were available only on its Japan service, saying that it had postponed the launch of new episodes indefinitely.

The unscripted reality show follows six young people who live together in one house in Japan but generally go about their daily lives.

A group of panellists provide real-time commentary - analysing conversations and deciphering their body language.

It has in recent years gained a huge following for its authentic interactions between cast members and its relative lack of drama.

'I'm sorry'

Kimura who joined the show last September, was one of six members on the show's latest season, Tokyo 2019-2020.

She is said to have been the target of hundreds of mean tweets from fans and critics on a daily basis.

Local media reports say this abuse got worse after a particular episode - only screened in Japan so far - which saw her getting into an altercation with a roommate.

She had before her death reportedly post images of self harm on Twitter along with messages that read: "I don't want to be a human anymore. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you everyone, I love you. Bye."

Some local media reports say that a suicide note was found in her home, though this has not been confirmed.

Source: bbc.com