Voice actor’s white powder activities put his snowman Olaf performance on ice.

It’s been less than a week since Japanese musician and actor Pierre Taki (legal name Masanori Taki) was arrested on charges of cocaine use/possession. As is the norm in the Japanese entertainment industry, companies quickly scrambled to pull products which featured the 51-year-old Taki, who’s perhaps best known as part of the pop duo Denki Groove.

Video game publisher Sega was quick to act, stopping physical shipments and online sales of its high-profile Judge Eyes, in which, ironically, Taki plays a criminal. They were quickly followed by Square Enix, which has announced it’s patching Taki’s voice acting lines in its Kingdom Hearts III with another actor.

But it’s not just indigenous Japanese companies that are going to great lengths to distance themselves from Taki. Disney is now taking similar steps, since Taki voices comic relief snowman Olaf in Frozen (a role he reprises in the crossover Kingdom Hearts III).

Taki’s arrest became pubic knowledge on March 13, and one day later, Disney store branches in Tokyo had removed their Frozen-related merchandise, such as Blu-rays and soundtrack CDs. Disney has also issued a statement saying that it has halted the production of Frozen Blu-rays and DVDs for the Japanese market, and is suspending both their direct sales and shipments to retailers.

▼ Taki also sings the Japanese version of Olaf’s “In Summer” character song in Frozen’s Japanese-dubbed version.

Frozen is the third-highest-grossing movie of all time in Japan, with its roughly 25.5 billion yen (US$222.7 million) only bested by Titanic and Spirited Away, and its immense popularity means its only a matter of when, not if, Disney will resume selling merchandise in Japan. However, producers have already officially booted Taki from the Japanese-dub cast of Frozen 2, requiring them to recast the role of Olaf. Once they do, it’s possible that the family-friendly company will decide to replace Taki’s lines in the original Frozen with new readings from his Frozen 2 replacement, simultaneously maintaining continuity between the two movies and completely removing Taki’s involvement in the franchise.

Source: Livedoor News/Sports Hochi via Otakomu
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