The company hired by Johnny & Associates to manage a news conference addressing sexual abuse by its late founder had an apparent blacklist of journalists to avoid calling on during the event, according to media reports.

The entertainment behemoth confirmed that the company handling the news conference, the global consulting firm FTI Consulting, had shown staff members at the talent agency a list of names days before the event, maintaining that they had no involvement in its creation.

On Thursday, the consulting company said that Johnny & Associates was not involved in preparing the list or sharing it among the staff managing the news conference, NHK reported.