Less than 48 hours before the Opening Ceremony, Kentaro Kobayashi, a former Japanese comedian who has led the Opening Ceremony's program since 2019, was ousted after a recent media firestorm over his 1998 comedy act in which he made light of the Holocaust. In one clip, Kobayashi jokes about "playing Holocaust" as a “let’s massacre Jewish people game.” On Thursday, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto announced that Kobayashi had been dismissed, leaving organizers to frantically "review" the Opening Ceremony's entire script. Hashimoto apologized to the Japanese public and said he hadn't heard about Kobayashi's jokes until this week. The firing is the latest setback in what some are calling a "cursed" Olympic games.
TOPICS: Summer Olympics, Opening Ceremony, Kentaro Kobayashi