Tokyo Olympics: Opening Ceremony Director Kentaro Kobayashi Sacked for Alleged Anti-Semitic Jokes Made in 1998 | Olympic Games News

Kentaro Kobayashi was scheduled to lead the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics; but he was fired just days before the event because of alleged anti-Semitic comments he allegedly made during a comedy in 1998; Kobayashi is the third person involved in the ceremony to be fired

Last updated: 07/22/21 6:53 am

Kentaro Kobayashi fired from Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony director

On Friday, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was plunged into further chaos following the sacking of its show director.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto confirmed to media that Kentaro Kobayashi was sacked the day before the event over alleged anti-Semitic jokes he allegedly made during a 1998 comedy.

The show’s composer, Keigo Oyamada, was forced to resign earlier this week after footage of interviews appeared in which he admitted to harassing children with disabilities during his school years.

And its executive creative director Hiroshi Sasaki resigned in March after criticizing his suggestion that plus-size model Naomi Watanabe dress up as a pig during the ceremony.

No fans and less than 1,000 VIPs will be in attendance at Tokyo’s 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium, with a series of executives from major companies such as Toyota and Panasonic publicly announcing they would step down, citing concerns about the public perception of the Games.

Japanese media reported that Emperor Naruhito will attend the ceremony, but pointedly refrain from using the word “celebrate.”

Only around 30 of the more than 200 GB team athletes who are currently in Tokyo are expected to parade at the ceremony, many citing coronavirus concerns.

Mills, the first of the Sbihi Team GB to join the flag bearers

Olympic champions Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi were named the GB team’s first joint flag bearers for Friday’s opening ceremony.

Hannah Mills to defend her sailing title in women's 470 class in Tokyo

Hannah Mills to defend her sailing title in women’s 470 class in Tokyo

The duo, who will share the honor following a directive from the International Olympic Committee in March, were chosen by a jury from the GB team who were nominated by their respective sports.

Mills, 33, won gold in sailing in 2016 in the 470 women’s category alongside Saskia Clark, and will defend the title in Tokyo with new teammate Eilidh McIntyre.

Sbihi, who is the fourth rower to benefit from the privilege, won gold in the coxless four-man in Rio and will compete in the eight-man in the Japanese capital.

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