Olympics: Opening Director Fired for Holocaust ‘Joke’


The artistic director of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Kentaro Kobayashi, a renowned professional in Japanese theater, was fired over a “joke” made two decades ago about the Holocaust, which was rescued through a video released on Thursday morning.

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“We learned that during a spectacle in the past, he used burlesque language when referring to this tragic episode from the past (the Holocaust, the genocide of six million Jews during World War II),” declared the president of the Games organizing committee from Tokyo, Seiko Hashimoto, adding that it was decided to “retire Mr. Kobayashi from his duties”.

In a statement, Kobayashi apologized for “extremely inappropriate” words. “It was a time when I couldn’t make people laugh the way I wanted to, so I think I was trying to get people’s attention superficially,” he said.