Ethical issue pointed out for a reality show

An organization on broadcasting ethics in Japan has ruled that a TV reality show failed to consider the possible mental distress of a cast member who died in a suspected suicide after being slandered on social media.

Professional wrestler Kimura Hana was one of the stars of the Fuji Television reality show "Terrace House." She became the target of malicious attacks on social media due to her conduct and remarks on the show.

Japan's Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization, or the BPO, has been deliberating claims by Kimura's mother Kyoko. She alleges that her daughter was instructed to act violently by the show's staff and this resulted in her suicide.

An almost identical version of the show was released online before it was aired on television. The attacks against Kimura started soon after the online release.

Concluding its probe, the BPO said on Tuesday that Fuji Television lacked consideration for the cast member's mental health when it decided to put the show on TV, and this constituted an ethical problem.

On the other hand, the BPO said it could not determine that there were human rights violations, such as depriving anyone of the right to make their own decisions, or ethical problems caused by inappropriate editing or production techniques.

Fuji Television issued a comment offering its sincere condolences to Kimura's family and saying that it takes the decision seriously and will reflect this in its future program making.