Controversial Mascot Chiitan Finds Itself in Social Media Limbo
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The wacky character mascot Chiitan might have to put its beef with John Oliver on hold; at least until it gets out of Twitter jail. The popular mascot's official Twitter accounts are currently suspended on the social media platform and, according to Chiitan's account management team, they have no idea why. Only the "0-year-old fairy baby" otter's English Twitter account is unaffected.
"From what we heard, this suspension is something that is happening to many entertainment-related accounts in Japan at this time," Team Chiitan told Anime News Network. "Some accounts of other entertainers have come back from suspension but many remains suspended." The Japanese account "@love2chiitan" was suspended on May 14. Chiitan's Korean, Brazilian, Arabic, and Turkish accounts are also suspended. Team Chiitan stated that there was no prior warning before the accounts were suspended.
Chiitan is an unofficial otter mascot that wears a turtle on its head and sometimes climbs dancer poles for fun. The mascot found itself in hot water earlier this year because it bears resemblance to the official mascot of the Japanese city Susaki, named Shinjō-kun. The city also had a real otter as a mascot, also named Chiitan, to promote the area's tourism. The similarities and the unofficial Chiitan's antics (which include flipping a car) lead to complaints to Susaki officials.This lead to Susaki to not renew the real Chiitan otter's status as tourism ambassador.
Susaki officials' concern about Chiitan damaging Shinjō-kun's image led to a city filing an temporary injunction on February 16. During this period, Chiitan's owners will not be able to use the mascot's image or wear its costume in public. The character was scheduled to star in its own anime series in April but the series is officially delayed.
The official English account for Chiitan is promoting a Change.org petition to get the other language accounts back on Twitter. The petition also notes that the real Chiitan otter's Twitter account @love_otter_love is also suspended. The petition organizers are hoping to get 1,000 signatures and already received 903 supporters as of this writing.
Chiitan's crazy antics drew the attention of late night talk show host John Oliver last month. Chiitan responded to Oliver's segment by giving him the nick name "Mr. British Birb" and offering to fight him in a no holds barred match.
Source: E-mail correspondance