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Brokerage in Japan Scandal Embarrased Anew Over Pee-wee Commercial

August 1, 1991 GMT

TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese brokerage already troubled by a major stock scandal has been further embarrassed by the arrest of the star of its television commercial, children’s entertainer Pee-wee Herman.

Paul Reubens, 38, the actor who plays Pee-wee, was arrested Friday in Sarasota, Fla., on charges of exposing himself in an adult movie theater.

″I know this may sound rude coming from a sponsor of his commercials, but he is not that famous in Japan, and the news doesn’t create as much of a fuss as in the United States,″ said Wako Securities Co. spokesman Yoshihei Nishimura.


He said, however, that ″renewing the contract with him is unthinkable, given common sense.″

The Wako commercial, featuring Reubens singing and playing a piano, is on the air about twice a week, Nishimura said.

He said ″cancellation will inevitably have to be considered as soon as the facts of the case are confirmed.″

Reubens has denied any wrongdoing.

CBS canceled his Saturday morning children’s show, ″Pee-wee’s Playhouse,″ and Disney-MGM Studios in Florida has dropped a Pee-wee video from a theme park tour.

On Wednesday, Wako said it paid $17 million in compensation to corporations and organizations for stock market losses.