Hit Japanese reality television show Terrace House has cancelled the remainder of its fifth season after one of its cast members, Hana Kimura, died on Saturday (May 23).
The show, which is currently available to stream on Netflix, is centred on a group of young strangers who move into a house to live together temporarily. The fifth season, Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020, premiered in May 2019.
Following Kimura’s sudden death, the show’s Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television Network announced that it has pulled its current season from broadcasts. The network confirmed the news yesterday (May 27) in a statement on its official website.
“We would like to express our regrets for the death of Hana Kimura and offer our sincere condolences to her family. Taking her passing with utmost sincerity, we will take active steps to formulate a response,” it read.
However, according to Variety, a spokesperson for Netflix said that the streaming site has “no current plans to take down the latest season of this incredibly loved show”. It’s unclear if Terrace House will continue in the future. Production on the current season had previously been put on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Japan Times.
Kimura, who was also a professional wrestler, joined Terrace House: Tokyo in September 2019. Since her appearance on the show, Kimura reportedly became the target of cyberbullying and online harassment.
The actress was only 22 years old when she passed. It is suspected that she took her own life after local media outlets reported that several notes were found at her home in Tokyo. On the day of her death, Kimura tweeted: “Every day, I receive nearly 100 honest opinions and I cannot deny that I get hurt.”
In the wake of Kimura’s death, Japanese government officials have called to strengthen the measures against online bullying, as Washington Post reported.