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Media & Entertainment

Hana Kimura's mom files complaint with TV watchdog over death

Japanese reality show accused of portraying wrestler as a 'violent woman'

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The mother of a cast member of Fuji Television's popular reality show "Terrace House" filed a complaint with a broadcast ethics watchdog Wednesday alleging a human rights infringement over her daughter's death in May following cyber-bullying.

"Terrace House" came under heavy criticism and scrutiny after 22-year-old female professional wrestler Hana Kimura, who starred in the current series, apparently killed herself. The show was also aired on U.S. streaming service Netflix with English subtitles.

The 43-year-old mother Kyoko submitted documents to the Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization claiming that the reality show was edited to present Kimura as a violent woman.

Kyoko also asserts in the documents that the program continued shooting even when her daughter suffered hyperventilation. Such actions by the show's staff violated Kimura's personal and human rights, her mother added. According to Kyoko, Kimura's following of instructions from program staff as to how to behave on camera triggered vicious cyber-bullying against her.

Kimura's death spurred calls for an end to cyber-bullying and for more action to prevent and track down anonymous users posting defamatory comments online. She had been subjected to a barrage of hateful messages on social media in response to her behavior in one episode.

"Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020" was the latest in a series that began in 2012. It featured three women and three men sharing a house in Tokyo. Netflix says the cast members are "looking for love while living under the same roof" and that there is "no script" for the show.

But there has been speculation that the acting and storylines on the reality show were actually staged. Following Kimura's death on May 23, Fuji TV terminated the latest series.

Shortly before she died, Kimura had posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the words "I'm sorry."

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