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Olympic opening ceremony creative director Kentaro Kobayashi fired over Holocaust joke


The creative director of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo was fired on Thursday, at some point earlier than the occasion is about 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 Nineties surfaced wherein he appeared to joke concerning the Holocaust.

This undated picture launched by Tokyo 2020 exhibits Kentaro Kobayashi.

/ AP

“We found out that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own performance, has used a phrase ridiculing a historical tragedy,” stated Olympic Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, in response to The Associated Press.

“We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country,” he added.

Kobayashi’s dismissal is the most recent in a collection of high-profile firings and resignations of officers concerned within the Tokyo 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 creative 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 University, informed CBS News the worldwide highlight created by the Olympics is creating one thing of a reckoning.

“Discrimination was never a major issue, so many people are careless,” she stated, arguing that Japan’s largely insular, homogenous society has bred a ignorance about ethnic, non secular, nationwide, and gender points.


“A lot of foreign media pay so much attention (to the Olympics), so every negative issue is under the spotlight… People are starting to be more sensitive about discriminatory expression,” she stated, including that she thought the collection of scandals was a “good opportunity for Japan” to suppose extra about discrimination and variety.

Shirai additionally stated anger over Japan’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic was fueling a few of the criticism of the video games.

“A lot of Japanese are very angry about having a special ceremony for the IOC while many restaurants are under a state of emergency,” she informed CBS News, “so that anger is leading to stronger criticism.”

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