The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has dismissed Kentaro Kobayashi from his post as director of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will be held on the 23rd. The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), an anti-Semitic watchdog group in the U.S., had issued a statement condemning Kobayashi for using the Holocaust in his comedy sketches when he was a member of the comedy duo Rahmens.
Kobayashi issued a comment through the organising committee.
The full text is as follows
”My name is Kentaro Kobayashi. I am a former comedian who has now retired and is now working behind the scenes in entertainment.
It has been pointed out to me that there was an inappropriate expression in a line I once wrote for a comedy show.
It is true, as you pointed out, that in 1998, in a video introducing young comedians, I wrote a comedy line which contained an extremely inappropriate expression.
When you pointed it out, I thought back to those days.
I think it was a time when I couldn’t make people laugh as much as I wanted to, and I was trying to attract people’s attention in a shallow way.
After that, I realized that it was not good for me, so I changed my mind and started to aim for laughter that does not hurt people.
I was in the business of entertaining people, and I should not be making people feel uncomfortable.
I realise that I was wrong in my choice of words at the time, and I regret it.
I would like to apologise to anyone who was offended. I am very sorry.
We have just been informed by the Organising Committee that the Show Director has been dismissed.
I would like to thank you for allowing me to be involved in this ceremony to this point.”
(translated by me)