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Shimada Shinsuke to retire from the entertainment industry due to mafia affiliations

August 23, 2011 @ 3:35 pm
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On August 23rd, popular MC Shimada Shinsuke suddenly announced that he will be retiring from the entertainment industry. An urgent press conference was held in Tokyo, where Shimada (along with his agency president Mizutani Nobuhiro) personally made the surprising announcement.

According to Yoshimoto Creative Agency, an email exchange between Shimada and a gang member had been uncovered. When the agency questioned Shimada about it, he admitted it to be a true fact. It appears that Shimada's friend of ten years or so became part of a gang. Still, Shimada continued to keep in contact with his friend through emails and telephone calls. On top of that, it seems that this friend also came as customer to Shimada's restaurant.

Shimada commented, "I didn't think that I was doing anything wrong. Personally I thought it was 'safe', but I found out the day before yesterday that it was considered 'out'." Shimada's agency remarked, "As a person starring in many influential programs in the industry, this act cannot be tolerated."

It was also revealed that Shimada himself brought up the idea of retiring from the industry. President Mizutani Nobuhiro of his agency  stated, "I deeply apologize to the fans and members of the media for betraying everyone's trust and causing trouble."

This is not the first time that Shimada has caused a big issue in the media. Back in 2004, Shimada was prosecuted for inflicting injury on one of Yoshimoto's female managers. At the time, he was charged a fine of 300,000 yen and was put on a 2-month probation, causing him to be absent from many of his TV programs. Being such a major figure in the entertainment industry, this sudden retirement announcement has surprised many media personnel.

Shimada joined Shimada Younosuke Imaki Tayo in 1974. In 1977, he linked up with the late Matsumoto Ryusuke to become a comedy duo, who became very popular with younger generations because of their articulate style. Later on in life, he tried his hands at being a movie director and has even produced music.

Currently, Shimada is involved with several variety programs on different TV networks: 'Gyouretsu no Dekiru Houritsu Soudanjo' (NihonTV), 'Quiz Hexagon II' (FujiTV), 'Kaiun! Nandemo Kantei-dan' (TV Tokyo), 'Shinsuke Shachou no Produce Daisakusen' (TBS), and 'Quiz! Shinsuke-kun' (ABC TV). It is unknown how each network will handle this dramatic piece of news.

In the meantime, check out the photos from this urgent press conference:

[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title"]

Source & Photo: SANSPO , sponichi

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