Japan mayor: I wouldn't hire tattooed stars Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga
TOKYO -- Even Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga would not be welcome to work for the Japanese city of Osaka because of their tattoos, its mayor said amid a backlash over his stance against body art.
Mayor Toru Hashimoto this week said that public employees "should go to the private sector" if they want to keep their tattoos.
City authorities carried out a survey of their staff to ask whether they had any, whether they were normally concealed by clothing or not. More than 100 sanitation, public transport and other workers admitted they had tattoos.
But about 800 of the city’s 30,000 employees refused to answer the survey and a lawyer is now on the case.
"Whether one has a tattoo or not has nothing to do with their competence or skills," said Sayuri Ohashi, a lawyer who represents Osaka workers.
"There are different types of tattoos, there are those that are indeed linked to organized crime and others who have etchings on their bodies as mementos, such as for their lost child," he added.
'Breach of labor law'
He added that getting employees to reveal information about their body was "a complete infringement of their rights."