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Opening Ceremony Director For Tokyo Olympics Sacked Over Holocaust Jokes

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Opening Ceremony Director For Tokyo Olympics Sacked Over Holocaust Jokes

The director of the Olympic Games' opening ceremony in Tokyo has been fired from his job after his jokes about the Holocaust surfaced online.

Kentaro Kobayashi, who used to be a comedian, appeared on a television show back in 1998 where he was remembered saying 'let's play the genocide of the Jews' during a games segment.

At that time in the late 90s, the joke went under the radar.

But now, in 2021, Kobayashi's comments have re-emerged on the internet and have sparked outrage among fans.


It seems officials in Tokyo weren't best pleased either after hearing the remarks, wasting no time in giving Kobayashi the boot from his gig just 24 hours before the opening ceremony kicks off.

"We found out that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own performance, has used a phrase ridiculing a historical tragedy," Organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto said.

"We deeply apologise for causing such a development the day before the opening ceremony and for causing troubles and concerns to many involved parties as well as the people in Tokyo and the rest of the country."


Kobayashi, undoubtedly distraught from losing his prestigious job title, issued a statement of his own.

"Entertainment should not make people feel uncomfortable," he said.

"I understand that my stupid choice of words at that time was wrong, and I regret it."


Video of the joke from 1998 spread like wildfire on social media after one user did some digging into the archives before sharing it.

That one clip then did the rounds and has now been viewed by millions of people, with some people condemning his comments while others threw their support behind him.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: olympics, Tokyo Olympics, Australia, Japan

Max Sherry
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