Studio Ghibli is best known for its gorgeous films, but that is not all it has going on. In fact, a piece of the company's past went viral during the now-infamous trial regarding Harvey Weinstein, a disgraced movie executive convicted of sexual harassment. It was then a previous interview with director Hayao Miyazaki that went viral as the icon said he once threatened Weinstein with a sword, and a former executive with Studio Ghibli is clearing up the tale.
The new information comes from Steve Alpert, a former executive at Studio Ghibli who worked closely with Miyazaki. Anime News Network spoke with Alpert about his new novel Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man, and it was there the executive said Miyazaki's version of the story does not line up with the one he heard around work.
"I would be personally very curious to know exactly when and to whom Miyazaki told this story. While I was at Ghibli I think I was with him for every single one of his foreign press interviews and I never heard, or even heard of, him telling this story," Alpert said.
Continuing, the author said the incident between Miyazaki and Weinstein was actually taken care of by Toshiro Suzuki, a co-founder, and producer of Studio Ghibli. The man delivered the sword to Weinstein and gifted it while yelling "no cuts" to make his message clear; Miramax could fight all it wants, but Studio Ghibli would not allow its films to be cut down any.
"Nothing is impossible, but I think the most likely thing is that it's a misunderstanding amplified by mistranslation and inaccurate re-telling. All I can say is that I was present for all of the original story from its conception, to the purchase of the sword, to its delivery to Mr. Weinstein," Alpert finished.
As it turns out, the sword was certainly sent to Weinstein, but its delivery method was confused along the way. Neither Miyazaki nor Alpert have to deal with the disgraced moviemaker any longer. And in the sweetest of turns, Studio Ghibli got its way as no cuts were made to its films on that occasion.
What do you make of the story in light of these new details? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!