On Thursday, July 22, the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the second director of the opening ceremony, Kentaro Kobayashi, because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998.
According to reports, back in the 1990s, Oyamada had 'unregretfully' admitted on public interviews that he had bullied people, including classmates, with disabilities during his childhood. Kobayashi was appointed as the show director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games.
A few days back, Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada, popularly known as Cornelius, resigned from the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, after being criticized on social media for bullying children with disabilities, as a young student.
His selection as the music composer for the opening ceremony drew a lot of criticism on social media platforms as evidence from the past resurfaced. Several users even asked why he was not in jail for his acts that allegedly involved forcing a disabled boy to masturbate in front of others and eat his own feces.
The details of what he has done to his disabled classmates are terrifying so many people who have read the article, including myself. This is not just bullying, this is a crime. The question is why such a criminal can be chosen to work for the #Tokyo2020?— Asuka Tagami? (@bluecactus555) July 15, 2021
After the dismissal of Kobayashi from his services as the event director, Seiko Hashimoto, head of the organizing committee, issued a statement to the press. "I offer my deep apology for causing trouble and worry for many people concerned as well as Tokyo residents and Japanese people when the opening ceremony is almost upon us."
Quoted by Reuters, the agency report further stated that earlier, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, released a statement saying Kobayashi's association with the Olympics would "insult the memory" of the six million Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust.
Controversies not new to Olympics
An event that is likely to draw the attention of the world population, specifically the sports communities across the globe, is bound to have eyeballs glued, all the time. So much so, there is a Wikipedia page addressing the concerns and controversies associated with the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Earlier in March, Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative chief of the Tokyo Olympic games reportedly resigned from his position after receiving flak for his 'Olympig' sexist remark for Naomi Watanabe, this too, just weeks after the games' former chief Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign for passing similar sexist comments.