The US website Polygon recently reported that two former vice presidents of the figure manufacturer Good Smile Company,Guy Brand and James Young-sik Kim, have filed a lawsuit against their former employer in a California court.
Good Smile: Counterclaim after dismissal
Brand and Kim claim Good Smile Company distributes “potentially obscene, sexually explicit anime products and merchandise with underage characters,” evades taxes, engages in improper licensing practices, contributes to the funding of controversial image board 4chan, and misrepresents corporate executives as independent contractors.
As early as 2019, Brand and Kim met with their then supervisor Enna Hozumi to discuss the issue of “sexually explicit” characters of underage anime characters, whom they themselves described as “unethical and offensive.” Hozumi then informed them that they would continue to distribute the products.
The two former employees did not want to be associated with such products, as the continued contact had created a “hostile working environment based on gender”. They added that they had suffered from Good Smile’s behavior.
Brand and Kim’s lawsuit was preceded by a lawsuit by Good Smile Company seeking $2 million in damages from its two former vice presidents as well as former employee Grecia Diaz last year for stealing confidential information for their own profit during their employment.
Brand, Kim and Diaz, who were fired by Good Smile Company, are accused of stealing a contract with Netflix for a “Stranger Things” drive-in event and instead handing over the business to their own company, Imaginary People.
In a statement to Polygon, Good Smile Company commented on the counterclaim as “demonstrably and knowingly false and based on defamatory claims.” It is assumed that the facts in court would have a positive effect in one’s own favor.
Good Smile Company is known, among other things, for scale figures as well as for the production of the Nendoroid and Figma series. The company was originally founded in 2001 by Aki Takanori as an event management and talent factory.