Tokyo Games Opening Ceremony Director Sacked Over Jokes Made 23 Years Ago
Tokyo Olympics organisers have sacked the director of the opening ceremony about 24 hours before the event.
The organisers relieved comedian, Kantaro Kobayashi, of his Olympic role after a TV skit he performed in 1998 went viral.
The 48-year-old commedian had made a skit of Nazi genocide telling his audience “lets play Holocaust.”
After the leak, the Jewish human rights organisation Simon Wiesenthal Center pressured him to be fired, while condemning the jokes.
It said, “Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide. Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of six million Jews.”
Announcing the sack, the President of Tokyo’s Olympic committee, Seiko Hashimoto, disclosed that the comedian’s ceremony is being “reviewed.”
He added “We’re currently investigating how to conduct tomorrow’s opening ceremony.”
Earlier this week, the opening ceremony composer, Keigo Oyamada, was sacked, while a children’s author withdrew from a cultural event.
The game is expected to kickoff at Tokyo’s National Stadium on Friday, but fans have been banned over Covid-19 fears.