Former Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura has apologised for his comments previously published by The Guardian, which linked gender and filmmaking in what he’s admitted was a sexist manner. He also expressed regret for their possible association with Studio Ghibli in the tweets he posted on Sunday (June 12th) from the Twitter account for Studio Ponoc, where he now works as a producer.
I apologize for comments made in an article published on June 6 in the British newspaper The Guardian. The article was based on an interview conducted in Britain on September 28, 2015. I actually made those statements at the time. First, I left Ghibli at the end of 2014, and I am no longer a Ghibli employee. I deeply apologize for causing the mistaken impression that my opinions represent Ghibli’s and displeasing all who love Ghibli. Next, I definitely had the sexist belief that men had a strong tendency to be idealistic and that women were better at living reality. I am reflecting and learning. Gender has nothing to do with making movies. My deepest apologies.
When originally asked, during a discussion of When Marnie Was There, if a female director would ever helm a Ghibli movie, Nishimura responded, “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.” Negative responses soon followed across the web, with staff at The Independent, The Verge and Forbes publishing arguments against Nishimura’s statement.