Olympic opening ceremony inventive director Kentaro Kobayashi fired over Holocaust joke


The inventive director of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo was fired on Thursday, sooner or later earlier than the occasion is ready to happen. Kentaro Kobayashi, who had beforehand been a member of a preferred comedy duo, was terminated after a video of a comedy routine he carried out within the Nineteen Nineties surfaced through which he appeared to joke in regards to the Holocaust.

This undated picture launched by Tokyo 2020 reveals Kentaro Kobayashi.

/ AP

“We discovered that Mr. Kobayashi, in his personal efficiency, has used a phrase ridiculing a historic tragedy,” mentioned Olympic Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, in line with The Related Press.

“We deeply apologize for inflicting such a improvement the day earlier than the opening ceremony and for inflicting troubles and issues to many concerned events in addition to the individuals in Tokyo and the remainder of the nation,” he added.

Kobayashi’s dismissal is the newest in a sequence of high-profile firings and resignations of officers concerned within the Tokyo Video games.

Earlier this week, composer Keigo Oyamada, whose music was anticipated for use at Friday’s ceremony, was compelled to resign due to his historical past of bullying, which he bragged about within the press. In March, Hiroshi Sasaki, the inventive chief of the Olympics, resigned after fat-shaming a plus-size comic and in February, Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori resigned over sexist remarks.

Sayuri Shirai, a professor of economics at Japan’s Keio College, instructed CBS Information the worldwide highlight created by the Olympics is creating one thing of a reckoning.

“Discrimination was by no means a serious difficulty, so many individuals are careless,” she mentioned, arguing that Japan’s largely insular, homogenous society has bred a lack of knowledge about ethnic, spiritual, nationwide, and gender points.

“A variety of overseas media pay a lot consideration (to the Olympics), so each adverse difficulty is underneath the highlight… Individuals are beginning to be extra delicate about discriminatory expression,” she mentioned, including that she thought the sequence of scandals was a “good alternative for Japan” to suppose extra about discrimination and variety.

Shirai additionally mentioned anger over Japan’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was fueling a few of the criticism of the video games.

“A variety of Japanese are very indignant about having a particular ceremony for the IOC whereas many eating places are underneath a state of emergency,” she instructed CBS Information, “in order that anger is resulting in stronger criticism.”

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