Daily US Times: The creative chief of the Tokyo Olympics’, Hiroshi Sasaki, who is in charge of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, has resigned after suggesting that a female comedian could appear as an “Olympig”, in the latest setback for the Games.
Mr Sasaki said plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe could wear pig ears at the opening ceremony of the Games.
He later apologised for his remarks and admitted his comments were “a huge insult” to her. Ms Watanabe has not responded yet.
The incident comes after ex- Tokyo Olympics’ president Yoshiro Mori was forced to quit for making sexist remarks.
Mr Sasaki said in a statement released through the Games organising committee: “There was a very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks. I sincerely apologise to her and people who have felt discomfort with such content.”
Ms Watanabe is one of Japan’s most famous comedians, and is known for her celebrity impersonations and body positivity advocacy work.
In recent years, the 33-year-old entertainer has spearheaded a body positive movement called “pochakawaii”, which translates to “chubby and cute”. She started one of Japan’s first brands to offer plus-size clothing in 2014.
The 66-year-old Mr Sasaki had made the suggestions involving Watanabe last year via a group chat on messaging app Line. The proposal was immediately rejected by his colleagues, who told him it was not appropriate.
Hiroshi Sasaki resigned shortly after weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported his remarks on Wednesday.
Organisers have said that Seiko Hashimoto, the current Games president, plans to address the matter at a news conference on Thursday.
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