Studio Ghibli Producer Apologises For Comments On Women Directors

The Guardian asked movie producer Yoshiaki Nishimura if Studio Ghibli would ever employ a woman director. His reply, published last week, drew widespread criticism. This week, Nishimura has apologised. [Image: Studio Ghibli]

Nishimura recently produced When Marnie Was There and The Tale of Princess Kaguya for the studio, receiving Oscar nominations for both.

In his original reply regarding Studio Ghibli employing women directors, Nishimura told The Guardian, "It depends on what kind of a film it would be. Unlike live action, with animation we have to simplify the real world. Women tend to be more realistic and manage day-to-day lives very well. Men on the other hand tend to be more idealistic — and fantasy films need that idealistic approach. I don't think it's a coincidence men are picked."

Recently on Twitter (here, here and here), Nishimura clarified a few things and then straight up said he was sorry. Here's Nishimura:

"I would like to apologise for what was proclaimed in a June 6 article in The Guardian. The article was based on an interview done in the UK on 28 September 2015, and sure enough, those are the things I said. First of all, I left Studio Ghibli in late 2014, and I not a Ghibli employee. I would like to apologise for making everyone who loves Ghibli feel unpleasant due to the misunderstanding that this was representative of Ghibli's thinking. Secondly, as for the comment that men tend to be more idealistic and women tend to be more idealistic, that is a discriminatory, one-sided point of view, and I most certainly had that. I've reflected, and I have learned a lesson. Gender is not related to making movies. I am truly sorry."

The tweet was signed "Producer Yoshiaki Nishimura" and appeared on the official Twitter of Studio Ponoc, the studio Nishimura founded last year.


    If this was on my facebook feed, it would be posted by a woman and all of the comments would be along the lines of 'he doesn't mean it, he should die' etc etc.

    Not saying all women are like that. But goddamn, some of the people I know. I'm scared to say anything! If I say (or post) one contentious issue they'll burn me at the stake!

      good grief really? the more I read things like that the more those woman are proven correct... by your own words.

      HINT: Stereotyping anyone is never good, and its certainly never worth saying aloud.

      Sure there are those type of woman but youtube has its fair share of nutter white males posting videos doing the same to Feminists everytime a Xmen billboard gets changed or Anita releases a new video. Just ignore extremists. its really not hard.

        Anita doesnt allow comments/discourse. Its her way and no one can factually prove her wrong or even discuss nuance.

        Not that I disagree with lots of her points, its just that there are several cases where she misrepresents games entirely based on her own assumptions.

        I know saying anything against Anita basically marks me as one of the gg crew, but I assure people I've never even looked up the hashtag let alone used it. I'd just prefer a little discussion rather than comments being disabled.

          If someone disables comments, its an instant red flag.

            yeah its a red flag that the stupid sheeple haters cant help themselves, and cant have a mature and intellectual discussion and seriously who needs that next level tsunami level of vileness in their life. See Total Biscuit on why he doesnt allow comments anymore. there should be a lot more content creators who do it, then the world would be spared from such blanket Feminist and Racist hate (like when the Star Wars cast was announced)

              Even TB allows comments on reddit. If Anita offered the same thing I'm sure that enough people that are her supporters would be willing to moderate the subreddit.

                if they moderate then some idiots claim they are being censored. Online discourse is not a human right, there is absolutely no reason why a person has to use it. Especially given how many threats she (and others) receive. Gone are the days when we could be trusted to have a civilised conversations regarding such topic. dont blame her, blame the trolls.

                  I'm not really interested in blaming anybody. I'm interested in discussing the issues. Clearly we are just meant to accept that there is no way to discuss the points she brings up though, so I'll just leave it at that.

          I dont like her myself and find her videos very misleading in terms of examples but her topics and points are actually always spot on.

          That said it makes me mad to listen to her BUT I am glad she makes her videos. There needs to be more like her making videos. Nothing she says threatens me or upsets me as a male. More gamers should learn to just accept she has a place in the world, even if they disagree and respect her for what she means to woman the world over. A little respect goes a long way. We men arent not her target market.

          there is a VERY obvious reason why she has to disable comments. As so many Feminist writers and thinkers are forced to do. How about you dont blame her for that and understand that becomes the norm for them based on much experience. Imagine all those woman who cant sit there and a mature discussion/disagreement over what they have just watched simple because some bellends cant help be jerks.

            Like I said in the above reply, she has enough supporters that she could nominate moderators. Even has enough money now she could pay staff to moderate.

        You just did to Rowan what all those "women" are doing on his Facebook. Do you have a mangina?

        Sorry, what? I'm not stereotyping.... but you literally said 'woman are proven correct'. C'mon dude. An entire gender cannot be correct.

          sorry I missed the word SOME. Image how SOME woman feel when ALL Feminists are damned by SOME men/trolls. That was the point I was trying to make but sorry failed.

          PS: Try to avoid using witches metaphors when talking about women. They never go down well to some.

      If you're scared to say anything because people are jumping down your throat for saying dumb shit, maybe it actually is you...

      Rowan thats when you delete them from your Facebook or dissallow them from seeing updates.

        Yah I've done that. They're really cool people but I just don't have the energy to be as outraged as them all the time. Yes some guys are total dicks. I know. But I personally think naming and shaming them (and their families) just makes it worse in many ways, because it's all hate you know?

        I guess I'm a bit of a hippy. I usually keep this to myself because then I'm accused of 'ignoring the problem' and I'm not, I just think that their are courts and judges to do this kind of thing, not facebook.

    Was there also an apology from The Guardian for asking an inherently sexist question?

    Bloody leftist media is PC mad. Fuck PC. Respect freedom of thought and speech.

      Here we go. You've got three of the best dumbass slogans right there. 'Leftist', heh, okay. Used as code for 'someone who disagrees with me'. 'PC' the fictional bogey man used when you disagree with someone but can't articulate why you're not wrong after someone has proven you are, and 'Freedom of speech', which is perfectly acceptable when you state your opinion, but absolutely intolerable when someone else exercises it to tell you why your opinion is shit.

        Mate i can articulate all day but why bother when those three common dumbass keyphrases explain this event to a tee.

        These phrases existed before the internet and possibly before you were born. They are not code for 'disagreement' as you so eloquently put it.

        The fact is that a male was asked a baited question and then forced to apologise for stating his opinion. His opinion was not in any way sexist. Being Japanese he was unaware of the way the western media treats the people it interviews, so he didn't censor himself and answered honestly out of naivety. He apologised because he felt bad he hurt a few peoples feelings, or that it would nevatively effect his work/reputation.

        By making this apology, free speech and thought has been censored. Those who wanted to censor it have a politically correct agenda and their political views are far left.

        He lost, they won.

        This is an objective fact.

          'fact', 'objective'... you use these words, but they don't mean what you think they mean.

            You sir have a low iq and a high opinion of yourself. A terrible combination.

              A terrible combination? Speaking from personal experience, eh? I must say I'm impressed with your use of three words using three or more syllables. You RWNJs are renowned for struggling terribly with single syllable ones (I've listened to your menninist buddies. It's hilarious!). If you'd like, I can send you a truckload of anusol for your butthurt, and bottle of sauce to go with that chip on your shoulder.

                RWNJ - "Slang/short for Right Wing Nut Job, what a far-left hack calls you when they have no tolerance for any other viewpoint than their own".

                I'm not even right wing. I'm right down the center.

                This article is about the far left authoritarian liberal minority forcing a person to apologise because his opinion did not align with their agenda.

                Grow a pair and actually say why you disagree with this... or stop being a little bitch, go outside and don't reply.

      Leftist media? Seriously. Being able to respect all sexes, races, religion and general being an okay guy is not Leftist. Its called being a decent and respectful human being. People who tend to use words like Leftist, Rightist, Greenies and SJW, tend not to be able to understand that point.

      thats said I think its silly when people are forced to publicly apologised, it doesnt change how they feel. It just tell you what people are not worth respecting or listening to.

      Last edited 16/06/16 1:13 pm

    His opinion was not in any way sexist.

    He literally said that men were more suited to directing fantasy films. Making judgement about someone's skill based on their gender is unarguably sexist. It's almost textbook definition of it.

    Think what you will about freedom of speech and the "leftist" agenda, but don't pretend for a second his statements were anything but sexist.

    The guy made a stupid comment and he apologised. I'd like to think it's because he realised the backwards, problematic nature of what he said, rather than a face saving lip service apology, but you can never be sure, I guess.

    Last edited 16/06/16 12:12 pm

      Yeh actually you're right. After reading it again i agree, it was sexist in the strictest definition of the word.

      There was some truth in his analysis of male and female personalities, but it was a generalisation. Sexist.

      If you look at it as him saying he or his colleagues wouldn't hire a woman for those reasons then it would be REAL sexist. I didn't see it like that but can see how someone would take it that way.

      On the subject, here's a few remarks I've heard recently whilst AFK.

      - men are more physical and hands on so make better surgeons,
      - women are taking over lower-paid specialisation areas because men want more money etc,
      - men's brains are geared to be better at mechanics and engineering than women...

      A lot of truth here as well but these are generalisations and sexist by the strictest definition of sexism.

      Last edited 17/06/16 4:22 am

        You're right in saying that those are widely held opinions but I don't think there's any fundamental truth behind any of those sayings. That is to say, there is no reason that a man is a better surgeon men's brains are better geared to be mechanics.

        These generalisations arise because of the way men and women are expected to behave, the things they are expected to be interested in, and the roles society expects them to adhere to.

        It may appear that men are more physical and hands on so are better suited to be surgeons, but that's because society has a general perception of women that they should be homemakers, effeminate, and not motivated by career. Society hasn't nurtured and encouraged young girls into these roles, in the way that is has done for boys.

        Encouraging or discouraging someone from pursuing a field of interest based on their gender will lead to that field being dominated by one sex. Then, at some point, when you look at this field and see it is dominated by males, one possible conclusions is to say "well it must be because men are more suited to this job".

        This has led to a perception that a certain gender is better suited to a certain job.

        Thanks for critically engaging by the way. I sometimes expect the worst from people when discussing these things online.

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