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April 13, 2023
Olympic opening ceremony director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired the night before the summer games over a Holocaust joke from 1988.
The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said Kobayashi was removed from his position “after a joke he had made in the past about a painful historical event was brought to light.” During a comedy act in 1998, Kobayashi allegedly said, “Let’s play Holocaust.” According to a video that surfaced on Twitter, the comedy duo, Rahmens, is seen cutting up paper human figures and suggesting a “massacre Jewish people game.”
In an apology statement, he wrote, “Entertainment should not make people feel uncomfortable. I understand that my stupid choice of words at that time was wrong, and I regret it.” The Tokyo games were delayed due to COVID-19, and earlier this month organizers decided to prevent spectators from joining.
FBA previously reported, “Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said organizers had agreed to hold the Games without spectators in Tokyo. Medical experts have said for weeks that having no spectators would be the least risky option, amid widespread public fears that an influx of thousands of athletes and officials will fuel a fresh wave of infections.” Around 1,000 international government officials are allowed inside the 68,000 seat stadium. First Lady of the US, Jill Biden, will be supporting the American athletes.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ENTREPRENEUR.COM