A Japanese TV program featured an ex-SM sufferer in the UK
A popular Japanese TV program featured a UK model on February 13 who once suffered from selective mutism. During and after the broadcast, at least hundreds of people, including those who had not known SM until then, made comments about SM on the Internet.
The TV program is Za! Sekai Gyouten News broadcast by Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV). A popular comedian Tsurube Shofukutei and a popular singer Masahiro Nakai host the program. Gyouten is broadcast almost all across the country every week on prime time (Wed 21:00-21:54). On February 13 NTV broadcast a two hour special (20:00-21:54) including a SM story.
The protagonist of the story is a girl named Kirsty Heslewood, born in the UK. She suffered from SM but overcame it thanks to her mother and teacher. She now works as a model. I guess some readers of my blog may know her because her story appeared in the Daily Mail when she was selected as a finalist of Miss England.
During and after the broadcast, at least hundreds of viewers of the program commented about SM via Twitter, Facebook, BBS, blogs, etc. I have never known so many Japanese people comment about SM. Interestingly, not a few of them had not known SM until then. Gyouten seems to increase awareness of SM.
But some express concern. Knet, a SM support group based in Japan, warned viewers not to show videos of children with SM talking in their house without their permission like Kirsty's story. Knet says that often worsens symptoms or breaks trust among children, parents, and teachers.
Labels: Selective Mutism in Japan