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Japan: TV Asahi Corp. discontinues online ad after it is criticized as discriminatory against women

"Japan news program commercial slammed for female discrimination discontinued", 25 Mar 2021

TV Asahi Corp. has discontinued an online advertisement for its Hodo Station evening news program after many criticized the commercial as being discriminatory against women, and posted an apology on the program's official Twitter account on March 24.

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The commercial shows a young woman who apparently just came home from work, speaking while facing the audience. With a smile on her face, she says things including, "My senior colleague who returned from maternity leave came to work with their baby, and it was just so cute," "Some politicians are finally putting up gender equality as their slogan, but like at this point, it's so outdated," and, "I bought skin lotion. It's a really good product." Realizing that the news program is about to begin, she says, "Oh it's 9:54 p.m., can I turn on the news?" Then the words, "This person is surely watching HoSta" appear over her face.

Many took to the internet slamming the advertisement as taking lightly the reality that a gender gap exists in Japan...

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A post including an apology and an explanation was published on the program's official Twitter account with the headline: "About our recent online commercial." It read, "Our recent online commercial was created with the intention of making the program feel more familiar to people of all ages. Regarding gender issues, although we tried to convey the idea that while it's been pointed out that Japan lags behind even from a global perspective, we are in an era of putting it (gender equality) into practice beyond discussion. However, we failed to properly convey our idea."

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