National Geographic pulls program over yakuza row

2 years ago by in Japan Archives, National

Photo by Mario Spann

National Geographic Channel is delaying the air of a documentary on the yakuza (Japanese mafia), after being sued by one of the journalists who worked on the piece. Jake Adelstein, a U.S. journalist and the author of Tokyo Vice, filed a suit after claiming that lives were put at risk by content scheduled to be aired in the program.

The “Inside the Yakuza” documentary was originally scheduled to air May 10, but National Geographic pulled the show after Adelstein’s allegations that it could be a matter of life and death for all involved.

Adelstein, who was originally hired as a consultant to verify the accuracy of the facts presented in the film, said the producer decided to interview active Yakuza members despite his recommendation against it. He also said that he received physical threats from those Yakuza members, who wanted their interviews pulled from the program.

Late last week, the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, as parties reached an undisclosed agreement. The network is, however, insisting that “for the production of this program, NGT has acted according to the highest ethical and journalistic standards” and said the documentary will be soon scheduled to air. It is yet unclear if National Geographic made any changes to the film following the lawsuit. [Holywood Reporter]

Editorial content written and produced by The Tokyo Times staff.

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