The Tokyo 2020 Olympics continue to witness itself in the midst of troubles as the director of its opening ceremony now stands dismissed following the discovery of his old joke on the Jew holocaust.
The organizers of the international sports competition removed Kentaro Kobayashi from his post after news reports emerged of his comedy act that was shot in the 1990s. In the video, the now ex-director was making fun of the holocaust, by calling it a “game”. He joked about the same while telling his audience to “play massacre the Jews”.
The comments induced laughter from the audience in his 1998 dating video.
Earlier, an international Jewish human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, had slammed and condemned the comments. Its associate dean and global social action director, Abraham Cooper, called Kobayashi’s association with the Olympics an “insult to the memory of 6 million Jews” and a “cruel mockery of the Paralympics”.
This prompted Kobayashi’s statement where he regretted his “stupid choice” of words.
This incident is one of the many occurring ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this year. Recently, a popular musician was forced to opt out of the competition following outrage against him for his previous bullying actions. Keigo Oyamada was roped in for composing the opening ceremony music but his old reports of bullying and abusive behavior that surfaced days before the same led to his dismissal.
These weren’t the only events that came as an embarrassment to the Olympic organizers as its President, Yoshiro Mori, was also made to step down in February due to his sexist remarks, which implied that women talk too much. He also served as the Prime Minister of Japan in the year 2000.
Soon after in March, Hiroshi Sasaki, the Games creative head, followed suit and resigned following derogatory remarks over a popular Japanese woman entertainer.
On the other hand, the current Japanese Prime Minister has planned not to attend the opening ceremony, according to media house NHK. Due to the public holiday in Japan on Thursday, his office could not be approached for a comment.
Shinzo Abe had a major role in bringing the Olympics to ground in Japan. He had dressed up as a titular plumber, inspired by the video game Super Mario, representing Japan at the Rio Games.
During that time, the PM and his fans were hoping for the Olympics to fall in line with the 1964 Tokyo Games that could fuel the country’s economy, devasted by the Fukushima nuclear and natural disaster in the year 2011.
However, the country witnessed a state of emergency due to the global covid pandemic and the hopes remained stagnated for a year.