Neither Domingo nor the organizers mentioned sexual harassment allegations against him in relation to his withdrawal. "After thoughtful consideration I have made the decision not to participate in the kabuki-Opera event due to the complexity of the project," Domingo said in a statement released through the Tokyo organizing committee.
Domingo did not give further details about the reason. He wished for the event to be successful while expressing his hope for a new opportunity in the future, according to the Tokyo organizers. The Associated Press reported in August on extensive sexual harassment allegations against Domingo from decades ago. Multiple women accused Domingo of using his power to pressure them into sexual relationships, including at the Los Angeles Opera, where he was the longtime general director.
U.S. opera houses have canceled Domingo's appearance following the allegations. Doming has called the allegations "deeply troubling" and "inaccurate," saying he believed all his relationships were welcomed and consensual.
The April event planned by the Tokyo organizers was to feature star Kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa as part of its Nippon Festival to promote Japanese culture and diversity. The #MeToo movement has not caught on in Japan with the intensity it has in the U.S. and other Western countries, in party because victims here tend to remain silent due to widespread fears about backlash in a society where gender inequality is still evident.
Associated Press writer Foster Klug contributed to this report.
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