November 7, 2006 - A 31-year old female employee of Tecmo, the company responsible for the popular Dead or Alive series, recently filed a sexual harassment suit against that series's creator, Tomonobu Itagaki. The suit claims 10 million yen (100,000 USD) in damages for acts of sexual harassment dating back to September 2003.
According to sources inside Japan, the plaintiff and Itagaki allegedly found themselves together at a company sponsored karaoke event late one night in 2003. The two decided to share a taxi because they lived in close proximity of one another. While on the way, Itagaki allegedly placed his arm around the defendant and proceeded to force unwanted sexual advances upon her. He refused to stop despite her repeated protestations. We could go on, but those of you familiar Itagaki will thank us for leaving out the rest of the details.
The emotional stress caused by this incident and others of a similar nature caused the plaintiff to stop going to work for several weeks. When she finally went to her employers to voice her fears about working with Itagaki, she was rebuked. She was told to resolve the situation by herself because it could not be classified as sexual harassment. She was then told that if she continued to miss work, that she would have to be let go.
Recently, Itagaki voluntarily stepped down from his position of Managing Executive Officer to that of Executive Officer, presumably because of this suit, which was filed on September 10, 2006. Itagaki admitted that the accusations are true, but that any activities in which the two parties engaged were completely consensual. Itagaki is married with children.
The Dead or Alive series has become the star franchise for Microsoft's Xbox video game consoles in Japan. The games feature scantily clad women of unrealistic physical proportions who alternate posing for the camera and beating the living daylights out of each other. A Hollywood movie is soon to be released in February of next year.
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us!