Since mid-January, Nippon TV has been the target of condemnation from various organizations for its Wednesday night drama series, “Ashita, Mama ga Inai” (“Tomorrow Your Mother Won’t Be Here”). The show is set in a privately run group home for children who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their parents. The protesting groups, which include the National Council for Children’s Group Homes and Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto, accuse NTV of “violating human rights” and displaying “prejudice against the children as well as the staff who are working in these childcare institutions.”

Sponsors, at least initially, took the protests to heart, and all eight had pulled their ads by the third week of the show, which didn’t hurt NTV financially, since the advertisers are obliged to pay for the time they reserved during the run of the series, according to Nikkan Sports. And the publicity, regardless of its tenor, has kept the show’s ratings at a respectable level.

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