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  • Tiffany Rigby

Opening Ceremony Director Fired After Bad Holocaust Joke

Kentaro Kobayashi, the director of the opening ceremony for the summer Olympics was fired.


Footage from a 1988 comedy sketch was shared online, showing him making a Holocaust joke

has been circling online. Kobayashi was a part of the comedy duo Rahmens with Jin Katagiri.

The footage has been condemned by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who said the

comments were "outrageous and unacceptable."



“In the short time remaining before the Opening Ceremony, we offer our deepest apologies for

any offense and anguish this matter may have caused to the many people involved in the

Olympic Games, as well as to the citizens of Japan and the world,” said the committee.

Kobayashi is known as a comedian, actor, and theater director. During a sketch for a children's

educational program, Kobayashi referred to paper doll cutouts as "the ones from that time you

said 'let's play the Holocaust,'" according to AFP news agency.



Kobayashi issued an apology telling the local news: “I’m in the business of entertaining people.

It should never be the case that I make people feel uncomfortable. I understand that my foolish

choice of words at the time was a mistake, and I regret it.”



The opening ceremony marks the start of the Olympic Games and is usually a high production

show that highlights the cultural wonders of the host country and sets the tone for athletic

greatness. There is no confirmation on how Kobayashi’s departure will impact the program or if

changes can be expected to minimize his contributi

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