Holocaust joke fires Olympic opening ceremony director

Tokyo – The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games fired the director of the opening ceremony on Thursday after making a Holocaust joke at the 1998 comedy show.

Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the Organizing Committee, said that Kentaro Kobayashi was dismissed the day before the opening ceremony. He was accused of using jokes about the Holocaust in comedy acts, including the phrase “Play the Holocaust.”

“I found out that Mr. Kobayashi used words to mock historical tragedy in his acting,” said Mr. Hashimoto. “We deeply apologize for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and causing inconvenience to many people concerned and people all over the country including Tokyo.”

The opening ceremony of the late pandemic game is scheduled for Friday night. The ceremony will be held without an audience as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, but will be attended by some stakeholders, guests and the media.


Earlier this week, composer Keigo Oyamada, who was expected to use music at the ceremony, was forced to resign due to the past bullying of his classmates, who boasted in a magazine interview. His music segment is not used.

Immediately after the video clip and script of Kobayashi’s performance was released, criticism flooded social media.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Vice Dean and Director of Global Social Activities at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Los Angeles-based human rights group, said: .. He also said the Nazis had gassed Germans with disabilities.

“The relationship between this person and the Tokyo Olympics will insult the memories of 6 million Jews and cause the cruel ridicule of the Paralympics,” he said.


Kobayashi is a former member of the popular Owarai Combi Rahmens and is known abroad for his comedy series, which includes “Japanese traditions.”

A last-minute scandal will occur as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government faces criticism that it will prioritize the Olympics despite public health concerns in the recurrence of the coronavirus infection.

Kobayashi’s Holocaust joke and Oyamada’s resignation were the latest to plague the tournament. Yoshiro Mori resigned as chairman of the Organizing Committee because of sexist remarks. Hiroshi Sasaki also resigned as creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies after suggesting that Japanese actresses should dress like pigs.

Also this week, the American women’s wrestling team chiropractor apologized after comparing the Olympic COVID-19 protocol with Nazi Germans in a social media post. Rosie Gallegos-Main, a women’s professional wrestling chiropractor since 2009, is allowed to complete her planned stay at USA Wrestling’s pre-Olympic camp in Nakatsugawa.



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Holocaust joke fires Olympic opening ceremony director

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