EasyCard to launch porn actress series despite controversy
In another flip flop on Thursday, EasyCard Corp. (
) said it will proceed with its September launch of a series of stored value cards that feature Japanese porn star Yui Hatano, making the announcement just hours after it proposed suspending sales of the cards in response to public criticism.
One of the card sets will go on sale on Sept. 1, while the other will be released in mid-September, the operator of the IC ticketing service for the Taipei metro system said in a press release Thursday afternoon.
The announcement came a few hours after Tai Chi-chuan (
), chairman of EasyCard Corp., told reporters at a press conference earlier in the day that his company may put the two-card limited edition series on hold because of criticism from some sectors of the public.
He also said at the press conference that if the cards are released in the future, their sale may be restricted to people of a certain age and they will be available only in select locations.
No Age Restrictions
In the statement released in the afternoon, however, the company said there will be no age restrictions and the cards will be available at FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK Mart convenience stores in Taiwan.
It was the company’s latest flip flop on the issue, which started with its announcement Wednesday that it had been working with Hatano to introduce in September a series of stored value cards that would feature her.
Later in the day Wednesday, the company said the photos conveyed a “fresh, healthy and beautiful” image and that the attempts by critics to label them as “lewd” were unfair to Hatano.
Tai said Thursday morning that when his employees first put the idea to him, his bottom line was that it “complied with Taiwan’s laws.”
He said he thought the card series would attract attention because of Hatano’s high popularity on the Internet, but he “did not expect such a fierce response.”
In addition to the question of whether Hatano should be featured on the cards, allegations of mismanagement were leveled against the company after it was discovered that one of the two photos of Hatano had been used as the cover picture on one of her porn movies.
Porn Movie Picture Used on EasyCard
In its statement Thursday afternoon, EasyCard said all 15,000 cards that currently feature that photo will be sold exclusively on Yahoo Kimo and it will not issue any more cards with that image.
Hatano, meanwhile, also released a statement early Thursday, saying that a porn star should also have the right to contribute to society.
“Just because I am an adult video porn star, does it mean that I cannot participate in wellmeaning activities and contribute to the society? Does it mean that I cannot pay a debt of gratitude to my beloved Taiwan?” she asked in the statement.
The touch-and-go IC card is valid for use on the Taipei Metro, city buses, designated car parks and some stores. The company has also issued special edition cards featuring cartoon figures that are popular among collectors.
The Taipei City government, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, Taipei Fubon Bank, and 12 bus companies in Taipei are the major shareholders of EasyCard Corp., and the chairman is appointed by the city’s mayor.
Chairman of EasyCard Corp. Tai Chi-chuan ( conference in Taipei, yesterday.
), second right, holds a press