Tokyo – Director Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics He was fired on Thursday for a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998.
Kentaro Kobayashi was expelled a day ago Infectious-delayed games There were Friday is officially set to kick off He helped create with a comprehensive ceremony, the latest A long list of setbacks To attack the event.
Kobayashi was fired “after a joke came to light that he told of a tragic historical event in the past,” the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee said in a statement.
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Kobayashi used the phrase “let’s play the Holocaust” in the action, said Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the organizing committee, in a statement.
“We found that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own acting, used a phrase that mocked a historical tragedy,” Hashimoto said.
“We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing trouble and concern to many parties involved in Tokyo and other parts of the country.”
Kobayashi expressed regret over the incident on Thursday.
“Entertainment should not be a source of embarrassment to people. I understand and regret that I chose the silly words at the time,” he said in a statement.
Kobayashi, 48, is a former member of the comedy duo “Rahmans” and his attempt at Holocaust comedy drew immediate condemnation from Jewish groups such as the Simon Wisendal Center in Los Angeles. Appeared on Twitter.
Kobayashi has been shown cutting out paper figures of men, while in the skit “Let’s massacre the Jewish people game.”
It was not immediately clear who originally posted the video footage online.
“No one, no matter how constructive, has the right to make fun of the victims of the Nazi genocide,” the panel said. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Said the Nazis also sent disabled Germans to gas chambers.
“Any contact with this person at the Tokyo Olympics will insult the memory of 6 million Jews and make the Paralympics brutally mock,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suka, who faced criticism for his decision to host the Games amid epidemics, told reporters on Thursday that the incident was “absolutely outrageous and completely unacceptable”.
Kobayashi helped design an opening ceremony at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, which takes place at 7am ET on Friday, with no fans at the stand due to the current Govt-19 crisis and the current emergency in Tokyo.
Although the stadium can seat 68,000 people, less than a thousand officials will be on hand to cheer on athletes from more than 200 countries. The dignitaries include Dr. Jill Biden, the first woman to head the US delegation, and Emperor Naruhito of Japan.
The expulsion of musician Kobayashi, another key member of the creative team uniting the opening ceremony, came a few days later. Keiko “Cornelius” Oyamada, Was fired after he boasted that disabled classmates appeared online.
Oyamada apologized and he and his music were removed from the show.
The Olympics last year were surrounded by many scams.
In February, the chairman of the committee, Yoshiro Mori, Was expelled after she said she spoke too much during meetings with female sports officials. A month later, the original creative director of the games, Hiroshi Sasaki, Japanese celebrity Naomi Vatanabe was expelled for comparing her to a pig.
The epidemic swept through the Olympics last year and Tokyo 2020 organizers had to fight a complex escalation in the new Kovit-19 lawsuits and Japanese public opposition ahead of Friday’s official football. Most of them Fear that the arrival of athletes and others from abroad may turn the game into a superspeeder event.
Even before Kobayashi’s departure was announced on Friday, the national newspaper Asahi Shimpan The committee erupted, writing “caught by a series of misguidances.”
The “Peace Ceremony” is about to open, and no one even thinks it’s possible in the midst of this pathetic chaos, “the newspaper wrote. One of the themes Of the opening ceremony.
Olympic officials acknowledged the harassment, but said they were determined to move forward.
“We’re going to hold the opening ceremony tomorrow, and yes, I hope there are a lot of people who don’t feel easy about the start of the games,” Hashimoto said.
“But in this difficult situation we are going to open the games tomorrow.”
Ego Yahashi And Arata Yamamoto Contributed.