Creative director of Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony fired for anti-Jewish comments
More than a decade ago, filmmaker and actor Mel Gibson was slammed over his depiction of some characters and portrayal of violence in the movie The Passion of the Christ. He was accused of being anti-Semitic, and blacklisted by Hollywood for almost a decade.
Now, the creative director of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony has been fired over his comments made years ago on the Holocaust.
Kentaro Kobayashi's remarks in a video of a skit from 1998 emerged online overnight and triggered shock and alarm in Japan. He was dismissed a day before the Games were due to start.
It was the latest in a slew of controversies that have plagued organisers and spotlighted social issues in Japan.
Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto told reporters, "It came to light that during a past performance, (he) used language that mocked a tragic fact of history."
Hence he was relieved of his job.
The opening ceremony of the Games delayed because of the coronavirus is due to start tomorrow, on Friday. There will be no spectators for the ceremony to keep virus infections at bay.
Earlier, composer Keigo Oyamada, whose music was to be played at the event, was forced to resign because he boasted that he was bullied in the past by classmates.