pixiv Representative Director Resigns From Company Amidst Lawsuits
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The pixiv website announced on June 6 that pixiv representative director Hiroaki Nagata (pictured right) has resigned from his position in the company, as well as his from his positions in pixiv subsidiary companies. pixiv board member and MOVIC representative director Shingo Kunieda is the company's new representative director.
pixiv stated that Nagata's resignation was due to "difficulty in fulfilling his role as representative director."
pixiv, Dear Stage, and pixiv's parent company Animate are currently involved in a lawsuit due to an anonymous former Niji No Conquistador idol group member "A-san" (22) suing the companies for damages due to alleged sexual harassment from Nagata. Nagata responded with a libel lawsuit against A-san and her lawyer.
pixiv acknowledged the lawsuit and the controversy surrounding it in the message announcing Nagata's resignation, but also stated that it has no further comment.
A-san made three allegations against Nagata. In December 2015, while she was a minor, he allegedly advised that she take a break for a trip to Kyoto, as she was considering leaving the group to go to college. She thought she would go alone, but against her wishes he went with her and stayed in the same hotel room with side-by-side futons.
Shortly after, she consulted him about wanting a part-time job, as her salary from Niji No Conquistador was low but the company would not allow her to hold another job. He offered to pay her to massage him, and she took the job for about half a year until spring 2016, during which time he paid her 5,000 yen per one-hour, full-body massage. A-san told the BuzzFeed news website in an article posted on May 25 that she did not want to take the job, but felt she could not refuse, and she needed the money so as not to be a burden on her parents.
Nagata's lawyers acknowledged the veracity of both of these claims.
Finally, this past January, after she had left the group, A-san alleged that Nagata asked her to come back for an event as a guest. Rather than asking her to stay in a hotel in Tokyo, he asked her to stay with his family at his apartment. While she was staying here, A-san claims she found a hidden camera in the bathroom.
Nagata's representation denies this claim.
A-san and her lawyer brought the lawsuit to the aforementioned companies, and the companies reportedly planned to settle regardless of whether the claims were true. However, Nagata filed suit for libel against A-san and her lawyer. Oral proceedings for the libel trial began on May 7.
Nagata took over as representative director of art-focused social networking service pixiv following the former director's retirement on December 29. He was previously the chairman of the board of directors. In 2014 he established pixiv Production-sha as an idol production branch of the business, and he personally produced the idol group Niji No Conquistador. The idol group moved to Dear Stage on January 1, but Nagata remained producer.