Kentaro Kobayashi, the director of the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony, was let go Wednesday night after a non-PC 1998 video of a sketch he participated in emerged on social media. Kobayashi, who was part of the comedy duo the Ramens, told his audience the Holocaust was the “let’s massacre Jewish people game.”
— 実話BUNKAタブー編集部 (@BUNKA_taboo) July 21, 2021
Seiko Hashimoto, head of the Olympics organizing committee, issued a statement saying, “I offer my deep apology for causing trouble and worry for many people concerned as well as Tokyo residents and Japanese people when the opening ceremony is almost upon us.”
Simon Weisenthal Center dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in response to the 23-year-old footage: “Any person, no matter how creative, does not have the right to mock the victims of the Nazi genocide. The Nazi regime also gassed Germans with disabilities. Any association of this person to the Tokyo Olympics would insult the memory of 6 million Jews and make a cruel mockery of the Paralympics.”
Speaking of which, earlier this week, the organizing committee sacked composer Keigo Oyamada for a disturbing interview he had given in the 1990s in which he described bullying and humiliating a disabled boy. Oyamada’s composition for the opening ceremony was taken off the program.
Back in March, Tokyo Olympics’ creative chief was sacked for suggesting that Naomi Watanabe, a plus-size comedian, should wear pigs’ ears at the opening ceremony which would then be dubbed the “Olympigs.”
And last February, Yoshiro Mori, president of the Olympics organizing committee, was sacked for saying women are annoying.
But so far, Kentaro Kobayashi is the first member of the scandal-infested Olympics to cross the Holocaust barrier.
Wiki offers a huge list of Olympic Games scandals and controversies. I recommend cracking open something cool and refreshing, leaning back in your Adirondack chair, and enjoying 100 years of human foolishness, nastiness, and tragedy.