In 1998, Kentaro Kobayashi was fired from his post for allegedly using “ridiculous language about a tragic historical fact” in a video.
The new scandal surrounding the Tokyo Olympics begins on Friday: organizers announced on Thursday that the person in charge of the opening ceremony had been fired because he had been a comedian in the Holocaust for more than 20 years.
«We learned about it during a past art show», Kentaro KobayashiUsed ridiculous language about a tragic historical factTokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told reporters. “Mr. The organizing committee decided to remove Kobayashi from his postHe added.
The consequences of his expulsion from the opening ceremony on Friday night are not yet certain. “We are still thinking about how to present the ceremony tomorrow“Trusted Mrs. Hashimoto, she says she wants to make decisions.”As fast as possible.
In a comedy sketch aired on video in 1998, Mr. Kobayashi and another comedian impersonated a popular host of a Japanese children’s TV show. By pretending to imagine a DIY function that would be a question of creating and installing a small paper doll, Mr. Kobayashi told his partner: “Last thing you said + let’s play the Holocaust +», Evoke laughter from the audience.
Imagining the producer’s anger over the show’s reference to the Holocaust, the two made fun of it. This sketch, “I wrote, which had very inappropriate lines“In Japan, the entertainment world, Mr. Kobayashi apologized in a statement. “It goes back to a time when I couldn’t make people laugh the way I wanted to, and I hope to try to get people’s attention in a thoughtless way.“, He added.
The Simon-Wisendel Center for the Struggle against Anti-Semitism and Racism said in a statement on Wednesday that Mr. Condemning Kobayashi’s past comments, his “Malicious and anti-Semitic jokes.
«No one, no matter how creative, has the right to make fun of victims of genocide (done by the Nazis)“, Wrote the system, judged it”Any contact of that person with the Tokyo Games will insult the memory of six million Jews and make fun of the Paralympic Games.Mr. Kobayashi also made fun of people with disabilities in other paintings.
The dismissal comes just days after composer Keiko Oyamata resigned as one of the music themes of the opening ceremony. The Japanese artist, nicknamed Cornelius, was caught up in old interviews he gave in the 1990s, where he briefly described how he persecuted disabled classmates in his youth.
In March, Hiroshi Sasaki, another art director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, resigned for recommending the Japanese actress and social media star in disguise as a pig.
In February, the president of Tokyo 2020, former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, was forced to resign over sexually explicit comments that provoked global outcry.
These scams have further tarnished the image of the Tokyo Olympics, and already large sections of the Japanese population are unpopular, fearing the event will exacerbate the country’s health crisis.
950 VIPs are expected to attend the opening ceremony on Friday at the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo as restrictions on dealing with the epidemic and closed doors for almost all the Olympics are decided.