The man tasked with leading the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday was just fired hours before the event began … after finding out he made a joke about the Holocaust in 1998.
Kentaro Kobayashi was canned on Thursday after a video was released of him making the extremely rude and inappropriate comment during a comedy act more than two decades ago.
In the old clip, we could have heard Kobayashi mention the Holocaust and say: “Let’s play the genocide of the Jews.
President of the organizing committee Seiko Hashimoto said Thursday when the footage came to his attention … he and other officials acted quickly, removing Kobayashi from his high-ranking role.
“We found that Mr. Kobayashi, in his own performance, used a phrase that ridiculed a historical tragedy,” Hashimoto said.
“We deeply apologize for causing such a development on the eve of the opening ceremony and for causing problems and concerns to many parties involved as well as to the people of Tokyo and the rest of the country.”
Kobayashi, 48, then apologized in a statement … saying, “Entertainment shouldn’t make people uncomfortable. I understand my stupid choice of words at the time was wrong, and I regret.”
The disturbing news comes just days after one of the composers at the opening ceremony, Keigo Oyamada, withdrew from the event after admitting to having bullying a disabled classmate in the 1990s.
Hashimoto, however, insisted the Opening Ceremony would go ahead as planned regardless… saying on Thursday, “we will open the Games tomorrow in this difficult situation.”
As we noted earlier, spectators will NOT be allowed during the ceremony … as officials hope the empty stadiums will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Games opening event is scheduled to begin around 4 a.m. on Friday.