Arama They Didn't

1:22 pm - 11/17/2013

Perfume makes shocking homophobic comments in new interview.

The maze of hallways inside Japan national broadcaster NHK’s TV studios often feel like the backstage area of a concert hall — but at no time more so, perhaps, than during pre-recording sessions for regular TV show “Music Japan.” For while the show introduces some of the country’s leading rock and pop acts, it is the presenters that have become one of the nation’s biggest sensations in the last few years.

Ayaka Nishiwaki, Ayano Omoto and Yuka Kashino, better known as “A-chan,” “Nocchi” and “Kashiyuka” to their fans, make up J-Pop dance unit Perfume. All in their mid-twenties, the usually technicolor-dressed trio formed some 13 years ago in Hiroshima, starting life as an Akihabara idol group, but quickly emerging as an electronic dance unit, thanks to the knob-twiddling wizardry of producer Yasutaka Nakata.

Earlier this year, the trio embarked on a world tour, covering the U.K., France, and Germany (Read: J-Pop Sensation Perfume Takes Paris by Storm). For Japanese pop acts used to polite crowds who listen attentively, the crowd's reaction in other countries came as something of a surprise to Perfume. “In Japan, we usually would start hearing people shout right before the performance, but in the U.K., people started shouting out passionately, ‘Per-fu-me!’ while clapping forty minutes before the show started, as if it were a soccer game!” says A-Chan.

“Also, when we met about ten fans from each country at the autograph sessions, there was a person who had ‘Perfume’ tattooed on his wrist. That was pretty shocking. He had tattoos on all sorts of places. I asked him, ‘didn’t it hurt to get a tattoo there?’ and he replied, ‘not really,’ then he started taking his pants off and we were like, ‘what is he going to do?’”

“He had another tattoo that said, ‘Love the World,’ which is an album that we released worldwide. He seemed so proud of it. I don’t have any tattoos so I’m not sure how deep a love that signifies, but I think it’s pretty incredible. And there were people who made gifts for us — tissue cases made from Japanese paper, for example. One particular fan said, ‘a Japanese friend gave it to me, but I want you to have it.’ I was like, ‘isn’t it a reverse import!?’ I can buy something like that anytime, but I guess for that person it was something very special. I answered a bit awkwardly, ‘tha…thank you,’” says A-Chan.

The group also discovered that their fan base demographic in European countries was somewhat different to Japan, where the ratio of male and female fans is almost equal. “Overseas, there were more men than women, and also people who were neither!” says A-Chan. “A gay couple came to our singing session and one of the guys introduced to us his ‘girlfriend.’ But the guy gave me a huge rose saying, ‘I love you so much! ­– I also love him (a guy), which means I like guys, but because I love you so much he doesn’t believe I like guys! Tell him something to convince him that I like guys!’ and I was like, ‘what in the world am I supposed to say to that!’ A lot of extraordinary things happened.”

Vile. Source.

(protip for all the str8s of arama: insinuating gay people are neither man or woman, and calling a gay man's partner his 'girlfriend' = not cool). Boycott Perfume. Buy Shiina Ringo's smash hit new song "熱愛発覚中" on itunes now.

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ryrymini 17th-Nov-2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
really though what was she supposed to say?

while it is a problem for people to think one male in a gay relationship is the 'girl', i don't think it came from a place of homophobia in this case but rather ignorance.
slave4food 17th-Nov-2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
they pride themselves as being pop acts of the future.

yet they hold values from the 1930s.

i will NOT buy ANOTHER perfrume CD unless THEY apologize
dramajewels MIssed Something???17th-Nov-2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
Sorry, did I miss the homophobic comment?
love_etcetera Re: MIssed Something???17th-Nov-2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
seems like you did. claiming that gay people are "neither men nor women" is homophobic.
thomaswilmoore 17th-Nov-2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
How's that "shocking homophobic"? :P That can just come out as ignorant.
I actually thought the comment on the guy giving them a gift was more rude.
danicarolina 17th-Nov-2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
akame_koi13 17th-Nov-2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
I don't understand how that's 'shockingly homophobic'. Perhaps it could be taken as such, mildly, by someone, but really?
trex_in_boots 18th-Nov-2013 03:27 am (UTC)
dramaticsurgeon 17th-Nov-2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Actually it just sounds like an awkward situation brought on by the fan's request that she "convince" his boyfriend he's gay. Sounds more like he's got some issues.

Meh, I figured the OP's title was misleading since I hadn't heard anything like this from real sources, but thought I might have actually missed something. Guess not.
p3rk3le 17th-Nov-2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
love_etcetera 17th-Nov-2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
damn, i just hate it when idols i like start saying stupid shit

for all those confused: she said gay people are neither men nor women ("there were more men than women, and also people who were neither!") and she recanted the story about meeting a gay couple in a way that suggest she thinks gay people are a bizarre phenomenon ("what in the world am I supposed to say to that!") and meeting them in person is shocking enough to talk about in an interview
xelloss_poo 17th-Nov-2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
I will support you for the first part about the "also people who were neither" being a bit non-kosher.

But the second comment clearly reads that she was responding with that comment in regards to having to convince a stranger that this other stranger was really gay. In which case, ANYONE would respond with "what in world am I supposed to say to that" comment/thought. Because she doesn't actually know EITHER of the people she is supposed to a) convince or b) prove some fact about. That is not a homophobic comment.

In fact, if you change it to:
But the guy gave me a huge rose saying, ‘I love you so much! ­– I also love her (his non-asian girlfriend), which means I like non-asian girls, but because I love you so much she doesn’t believe I like non-asian girls! Tell her something to convince her that I like non-asians!’ and I was like, ‘what in the world am I supposed to say to that!’
It still reads the same, which is in no way "homophobic". It is a WTF scenario, for ANYONE to respond to.
xanithofdragons 17th-Nov-2013 02:48 pm (UTC)
But... there are actually people who identify as neither man nor woman? That remark might be related to something I've seen A~chan do at concerts before, when calling for people to shout to get the venue pumped up. I've seen her ask before at lives, like, "Men!" "Women!" "People who are neither!" And there are responses to "People who are neither!" So I don't think "people who are neither" is necessarily talking about gay people, because there are actually genderqueer people who identify as neither.
chimerari 17th-Nov-2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
my thought exactly, and I'm not even a fan. Jeez people get up in arms for the smallest things
jooume 17th-Nov-2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Where's the "shockingly homophobic" part? I read it twice but I didn't find anything homophobic in A-chan's comments. Calling gays as "neither" men or women maybe naive and politically incorrect, but homophobic? I don't think so.

To the OP, please go find out what homophobia is really all about. And when you're done with that, please learn about CONTEXT.
mangelalansbury 17th-Nov-2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
you sound straight
witakerable 17th-Nov-2013 03:03 pm (UTC)
Boycott Perfume. Buy Shiina Ringo's smash hit new song "熱愛発覚中" on itunes now.

I see what you did there OP.
xanithofdragons 17th-Nov-2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
OP shows real intent. -_-
isinuyasha 17th-Nov-2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
Gosh the people on here saying "it's not homophobia but ignorance" are just...ARGH. So if Perfume says it it's ignorance it's okay but if some high ranking politician says it it's homophobic?

Ignorance is often cause for homophobic attitudes, yes, but that doesn't make it less homophobic.

People downplaying it are not better. "Oh it's not so bad, it's all in good fun." Sure. Ask a random gay couple on the street on who's the girlfriend in the relationship. They'll be really happy.

Edited at 2013-11-17 03:21 pm (UTC)
love_etcetera 17th-Nov-2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
thank you
slave4food 17th-Nov-2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
no doubt these homophobic harlots love singing their anti-gay melodies all across of nippon. AND SHAKING MY HEAD ESPECIALLY AT YOU KASHAYUKI. WE WERE ALL ROOTING 4 U
visionfactory1 17th-Nov-2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
Stupid foreign fans that put them in uncomfortable situations..
slave4food 17th-Nov-2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
so gay fans are "stupid"??? lemme guess, you think that it's their fault for not masking their sexual orientation??? maybe perfume had a profound impact on coming out (ie: the song Secret, Secret) so why not share them. SECOND OF ALL WHY EVEN HIDE THIS. stop contributing to the PROBLEM and start campaigning for the SOLUTION
bakadeshi_desu 17th-Nov-2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
“A gay couple came to our singing session and one of the guys introduced to us his ‘girlfriend.'" one of the men in this relationship introduced the other as his 'girlfriend' by the sounds of this report, and people are getting up in arms that a Perfume member was homophobic?? If she's repeating something that one of the members of the relationship said, then frankly I see no problem with that.

As to the 'people who are neither' comment....I don't know enough about this group by the sounds of things. If it's a normal tag line at their concerts that gets answers then I guess she thought using it overseas was okay, and didn't mean any offense?
mangelalansbury 17th-Nov-2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
so you admit to knowing not enough about the band to make a judgement but you magically know she didn't mean any offense?

slave4food 17th-Nov-2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
you would think that perfume will at least try to feign LGBT rights considering nocchi's unfortunate haircut
freyjam 17th-Nov-2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. You're honestly trying to judge their comments while at the same time perpetuating a stupid and insulting stereotype about homosexual women yourself?
mizumi10 17th-Nov-2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
I can see where people are getting the homophobic idea from after reading this article again and again, but really? It sounded more like she was repeating what the guy has said.
yumett 17th-Nov-2013 05:11 pm (UTC)
same here.
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