The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee announced that the director of the Games’ opening ceremony was removed from his role on Thursday over his past comments about the Holocaust during a comedy performance.
Why it matters: The opening ceremony of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games was due to start on Friday night.
Driving the news: Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto confirmed the dismissal over a 1998 clip, shared online, in which a man identified as the now-former opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi jokes about the Nazi atrocity in a skit titled, “Let’s play Holocaust.”
“We found out that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own performance, has used a phrase ridiculing a historical tragedy,” Hashimoto said, per AP. “We deeply apologize 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.”