Riku Tazumi, the CEO of ANYCOLOR Inc., the parent company of VTuber agency NIJISANJI, has officially released a video statement addressing the latest fiasco the agency has found itself into following backlash it received on the contract termination of one of its top talents Selen Tatsuki.
For over six minutes, Tazumi addressed multiple touchpoints on the issue in full English, with the video description stating that the use of English was aimed at "helping [him to] deliver this message to fans directly."
Here are some pointers during the video statement:
Acknowledging Language Misuse on IR News
Tazumi had acknowledged the language misuse of its recent update to its Investors Relations page on February 7, where it stated that Selen's termination will be "negligible" against the company's financial results. In the video, Tazumi first stated that the IR statement was made in response to questions by some of its investors on how this would impact the company's performance.
In the notice, we unfortunately used the expression "negligible" to describe the performance impact. Our wording lacked consideration for the situation and caused NIJISANJI EN fans and everyone who supports the VTuber industry to feel that ANYCOLOR Inc. undervalued the impact of Selen's contract termination, or Selen herself. I deeply regret this outcome and will be rethinking how our communication in English is done.
Riku Acknowledges Selen's Legacy, Addresses Work Environment Allegations
Riku also touched base that while it is unfortunate that their relationship with Selen ended in a termination, he acknowledged that the VTuber has been integral to the growth of the agency's English unit.
Without a doubt, Selen was integral to the growth of NIJISANJI EN. As a company, it is truly unfortunate that our relationship ended the way it did. We regret that the notice we published on February 7 [referring to the IR statement] was worded this way. We made it sound like our company does not value the hard work of our Livers. I deeply apologize.
Riku had also addressed criticisms about how ANYCOLOR may not be providing a safe environment where its talents can maintain good mental health.
We take full responsibility for this situation, where not only ANYCOLOR Inc. but also our Livers are receiving hurtful messages. I deeply apologize to our Livers and to everyone who supports them. Company actions have led to the distress of our Livers and we are taking this situation very seriously.
Please understand that some Livers may choose to temporarily step back from social media. The management team continues to communicate with Livers to provide any and all support in every way they can.
He also added that following this, ANYCOLOR will be implementing several new internal systems to ensure that their talents can resume streaming activities while maintaining their well-being. Through establishing systems such as better reporting systems, the company aims to better identify and resolve issues quickly. Riku, however, did not specify what type of systems they will be implementing internally.
On Proper Support for NIJISANJI EN
Riku then next tackled fan concerns about whether ANYCOLOR has properly supported NIJISANJI EN in terms of other content outside of the talents' regular streaming schedule.
He stated that for YouTube content, they did not have official programmes available up until the fall of last year. He also acknowledged that aside from its content for the 3D event in July 2023 and the cancelled NIJISANJI EN AR Live "Colors" in February 2023, there has been a lack of 3D live content for the unit.
However, in the meantime, we have spent the past year recruiting and working on strengthening the EN staff so we can better provide content for NIJISANJI EN. Since last year, we have also started multiple new projects that are still in progress. In addition to supporting Livers' own activities, we hope this will help improve our NIJISANJI EN content offerings.
It is worth noting that one of those supposed events that the agency had planned include the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Special Battle event, which was supposed to happen on February 11. It was promptly cancelled after the agency announced that it will be dedicating to providing "full attention to prioritizing and ensuring the quality of Livers' well-being."
As a company, we intend to do everything in our ability to support NIJISANJI EN and meet the fan expectations.
"Our Talents are Irreplaceable"
Riku's final pointer included an apology not just to these recent events but also to its pre-existing areas that needed the company's attention, stressing the importance of its talents.
Our Livers are irreplaceable, each and everyone of them. Beyond business partners, they are the most important individuals that we must protect as a company.
To everyone who has, and continues to, support the Livers, I am very sorry that situations were allowed to arise where our dedication to their well-being was not clear.
Once more, personally and on behalf of our company, I apologize to you all for causing concern. As ANYCOLOR Inc., we will do everything we can to ensure that we create and maintain an environment where the Livers can succeed in their creative endeavors.
It is worth noting that hours before Riku Tazumi released this video statement, NIJISANJI EN talents Elira Pendora, Vox Akuma, and Ike Eveland went on a 15-minute stream where they addressed further context about previous events leading up to Selen's termination.
Some of those pointers being discussed include how Selen allegedly did not ask permission from management about posting the cover of LilyPichu's Last Cup of Coffee, as well as allegedly spreading misinformation that she will be terminated immediately where in fact, management simply warned her first due to these contract breaches.
It is also worth noting that a highlight of this stream was about legal documents the talents have received from Selen's legal team, which included personal information of the talents, which scared them since there was a potential this document may go public. However, the talents stated that there are parts of the document about them that are simply untrue.
NIJISANJI recently came into the defense of its talents, stating that its talents are not held to any confidentiality obligation regarding the information shared to them from ANYCOLOR Inc. Hence, there are no legal issues regarding the information shared to the public in the stream made by their talents.
Featured Image: Screengrab from NIJISANJI EN channel