Olympic opening ceremony director fired for Holocaust joke

World News
Kentaro Kobayashi

This undated photo released by Tokyo 2020 shows Kentaro Kobayashi, a key director of Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony. The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee dismissed the director of the opening ceremony on Thursday, July 22, 2021 because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998. (©Tokyo 2020 via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the director of the opening ceremony on Thursday because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998.

Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi has been dismissed. He was accused of using a joke about the Holocaust in his comedy act, including the phrase “Let’s play Holocaust,” in one of his shows.

His dismissal comes the day before Friday’s opening ceremony of the pandemic-delayed Games.

Earlier this week, a composer whose music is expected to be used at the opening ceremony was forced to resign because of past bullying of his classmates, which he boasted about in magazine interviews.

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