The death of 22-year-old Hana Kimura, a Japanese pro wrestler starring in the newest season of the Netflix reality show Terrace House, is swiftly morphing into a narrative about the possible perils of cyberbullying.
An official cause of death has not yet been announced. However, speculation grew Saturday that Kimura killed herself Friday. Fan translations of Kimura’s tweets from earlier in the day indicated that she felt weak and no longer wanted “to be a human, ” according to media reports. Kimura’s tweets have since been taken down so the translations can’t be verified.
Kimura was part of Stardom Wrestling, which confirmed Kimura’s death Friday night in a tweet.
Kimura was one of six people living together in front of cameras for Terrace House. The reality series claimed to have no script and said its goal was to observe what happens behind closed doors when strangers co-habitate. Drama ensued, including an exchange that fans have said led to extensive bullying of Kimura.
Social media posts with #RIPHanaKimura focused on the torrent of online criticism targeting the star after a Terrace House episode in which she slapped a housemate for washing her wrestling costume. In the episode, Kimura cries over the ruined costume and questions why her roommate had been careless.
“These are as important as my life, ” she says of the expensive costume.
The backlash against Kimura has now shifted to outrage over her critics and the pain they apparently inflicted from the safety of their keyboards.
Pro wrestler Adam Pacitti tweeted: “The death of Hana Kimura is an absolute tragedy. I hope this serves as a reminder that interactions on social media can have a serious effect on the mental health of anyone, no matter who they are. Be kind. RIP.”
Netflix told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that it was postponing the release of new episodes of “Terrace House.” Production on the series already had been stopped because of the coronavirus outbreak. – By Jessica Gelt/Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service