Johnny’s changes name to Smile-Up in wake of sexual abuse scandal
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Japan’s top male talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. renamed itself Smile-Up Inc. on Tuesday in a bid to distance itself from its late namesake founder Johnny Kitagawa, against whom hundreds of sexual abuse allegations have been made.
The company unveiled earlier this month its plan to change its name and provide redress to the victims of Kitagawa, who died in 2019. Payments are scheduled to start in November, and Smile-Up will close as an entity once it finishes compensating the victims.
After midnight, the company’s official website transitioned to a new design with Smile-Up branding, and...