E-commerce billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has backtracked on his bizarre plan to find a girlfriend to take into space by way of reality TV show. Maezawa, the founder of Zozotown, made a significant downpayment on a private SpaceX flight around the Moon and had initially planned to take several artists with him, but later announced plans to solicit a romantic partner for the journey and beyond through an AbemaTV documentary to be called “Full Moon Lovers.”
Now those dreams are dead, as Maezawa has requested the show’s cancellation citing “personal reasons.” “Despite my genuine and honest determination toward the show, there was a part of me that still had mixed feelings about my participation,” he writes on Twitter. “To think that 27,722 women, with earnest intentions and courage, had used their precious time to apply makes me feel extremely remorseful to conclude and inform everyone with this selfish decision of mine.”
“I understand that I have disappointed many people — the applicants and all the staff from AbemaTV who were involved in the production — and I apologize to everyone for my unfavorable actions. I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.”
Maezawa is no stranger to stepping back from ostentatious plans. In 2017 Zozotown shipped millions of free skintight suits that were supposed to be able to help measure customers’ body measurements so they could order clothes with the perfect fit. A little over a year later, though, Maezawa had to admit that the scheme was an expensive failure, and the company was soon forced to close its US and European operations altogether. The stock price continually plummeted, and he stepped down as president in September after selling the company to SoftBank’s Yahoo Japan.