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Jul 26 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

Was the Olympics right to fire Kentarō Kobayashi?

Despite a spectacular opening ceremony, just 24 hours before the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the opening ceremony's director, Kentarō Kobayashi, was fired from his position for historic insensitive comments made during the 1990s. Kobayashi was part of a comedy duo, Rahmens, and in the late 1990s made a joke about the Holocaust that caused controversy online in the run up to the Olympic ceremony. He was the latest of a string of sackings of famous talents working for the event during the run-up to the Olympics, for historical or contemporary problematic comments. Was Olympics right to fire the director of the opening ceremony for a joke about the holocaust made in the 90s? Were his comments made too long ago to be relevant? Has cancel culture made it to Japan?
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No, these comments were made over two decades ago
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No, these comments were made over two decades ago

The joke that Kentaro Kobayashi was fired for was made in the 1990s, over two decades ago, and it is a comment that Kobayashi has swiftly apologised for. Prominent neuroscientist and broadcaster, Ken Mogi took to social media to defend Kobayashi, saying that he "never advocated discrimination, he has always been considerate of minorities and he himself is a really wonderful, loving and considerate person. So, this particular clip that surfaced within the last few hours is inappropriate … I wish he hadn’t done that, but anyone can be careless for a brief moment” [1]. Cancel culture started by de-platforming sexual predators but keyboard warriors are now combing through everyones career in an attempt to ruin the career of anyone they do not like. Others sacked from the Olympics were much more malicious in their problematic comments, and are more deserving of this action, but Kobayashi is different, his firing is just the result of olympic organisers throwing him under the bus to avoid negative press.

bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-57924885 theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/22/tokyo-2020-director-of-opening-ceremony-sacked-over-1998-holocaust-joke [1] youtube.com/watch?v=cbwC28cgQzE edition.cnn.com/2019/09/21/entertainment/cancel-culture-explainer-trnd/index.html twitter.com/tomyamiii/status/1418048256064380930

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Jul 26
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-57924885 https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/22/tokyo-2020-director-of-opening-ceremony-sacked-over-1998-holocaust-joke [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbwC28cgQzE https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/21/entertainment/cancel-culture-explainer-trnd/index.html https://twitter.com/tomyamiii/status/1418048256064380930
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