Toei Animation has found itself in hot water with fans around the globe over a controversial labor dispute. The company is one of the biggest animation brands in Japan and handles series like Dragon Ball and One Piece. However, its global reputation has taken a hit after Yahoo! News reported on Toei's refusal to do labor negotiations with a local union. The refusal was sent forward as Toei accused the union's representative of using a false name after being informed the spokesperson went by a name that better suited their gender identity.
According to Anime News Network, the representative was accused of using a "false name" during labor negotiations. The union rep identifies as X-gender, meaning they are neither male nor female, so they do not go by their birth name. In light of this revelation, Toei sent the union a letter which deadnames the representative and accuses them of "majorly damaging the relationship of trust between Toei Animation and the labor union."
The rep has since responded to the degrading letter by saying their name has no merit in their negotiations with Toei. The union is representing a former unit director at the animation studio who says they were unfairly demoted. The union worker says the case at hand regards the animator, and their gender identity has no part of the discussion.
"In the first place, there are many married people who work under an alias, and the name I use for collective bargaining has nothing to do with the name on my family registry," the union rep told Yahoo. For me, just looking at my family registry name is painful. To be on the receiving end of such a discriminating act by the company made me feel disappointment, sadness, and pain."
The union representative went on to say that several attempts were made to work with Toei Animation but did not work. The spokesperson said they even went to the studio itself and was chased away by a security guard before Toei's controversial letter was sent. Currently, no settlement has been made between the studio and the union regarding the unit director's complaint, and a petition has been started on the employee's behalf to raise awareness of the issue.
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