TOKYO, DEC. 3 -- Insisting that he has been misunderstood, Akio Tanii, president of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., said today that his company is pledged never to interfere with the creative independence of MCA Inc.
Tanii vowed to leave questions about the content of MCA's movies, books and records "entirely up to the artists" who make them. Asked if he would make a promise to do so in all circumstances, Tanii replied: "That is what I have been saying."
His remarks appeared aimed at defusing at least one of the controversies that has arisen over Matsushita's announcement last week that it is paying $7.5 billion to acquire MCA, the parent company of Universal Studios and other entertainment operations.
Until today, Matsushita had avoided making a firm pledge to refrain from interfering in MCA's creative decisions.
Today, at a Matsushita get-together with foreign journalists, Tanii was asked why he had not given such a guarantee of noninterference. He responded by suggesting such questions are misplaced because the Matsushita-MCA merger is a friendly one.
But when pressed, he said he had meant all along to make a categorical pledge. An interpreter, quoting him, said: "He will promise not to interfere in the creative independence" of MCA.