When the past goes back, it's not always very beautiful.

The official responsible for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, which begins on Friday, was dismissed from his post because of a joke on the Holocaust dating back more than twenty years, organizers announced on Thursday.

"We learned that in a past artistic performance," Kentaro Kobayashi "used mocking language about a tragic historical fact," Tokyo-2021 President Seiko Hashimoto told reporters. adding that "the organizing committee [had] decided to remove Mr. Kobayashi from his post".

This sketch "that I had written contained lines which were extremely inappropriate"

In a comedy sketch that aired on video in 1998, Kentaro Kobayashi and another comedian imitated a famous host duo on a Japanese children's television show.

While pretending to imagine a DIY activity, where it would be a question of creating and installing small paper dolls, Kentaro Kobayashi had launched to his partner: "The ones from the last time you said: 'Let's play 'Holocaust' ”, triggering laughter from the audience.

The duo then joked by imagining the anger of the producer of the show because of this reference to the Holocaust.

✍🏻 OLYMPICS LATEST: Kentaro Kobayashi, creative director of the Opening Ceremony was fired for joking about the Holocaust as part of a skit in 1998 when he worked as a comedian.

Kobayashi: “… I understand that my stupid choice of words at that time was wrong, and I regret it.”


- Kurumi Mori (@rumireports) July 22, 2021

This skit, "which I had written contained lines that were extremely inappropriate," apologized in a statement to Kentaro Kobayashi, an entertainment personality in Japan.

Previous scandals

The dismissal comes just days after the resignation of Keigo Oyamada, composer of one of the musical themes of the opening ceremony, who was caught up by old interviews he gave in the 1990s, and where he lightly recounted how he had persecuted disabled classmates in his youth.

In March, another artistic director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, Hiroshi Sasaki, had also resigned for having suggested internally to disguise as pig a Japanese actress and star of social networks with assumed curves, Naomi Watanabe.

And in February, the president of Tokyo-2021, former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, was also forced to step down for sexist remarks that sparked a global outcry.

These cascading scandals have further tarnished the image of the Tokyo Olympics, already unpopular with a large part of the Japanese population fearing that the event would worsen the health crisis in the country.


Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: Are we going to attend the most depressing opening ceremony in history?


Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, "remains on alert" but is confident before the Games

  • Scandal

  • Japan

  • Sport

  • Olympic Games

  • Tokyo Olympics 2021

  • Society