Tokyo Olympics creative chief resigns over 'Olympig' comments

Jane McGuire
·1-min read
Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI - Getty Images
Photo credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • Tokyo Olympics creative chief, Hiroshi Sasaki, has resigned after making derogatory comments about a female comedian.

  • Sasaki suggested plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe could wear pig ears at the opening ceremony.

  • He later apologised and admitted his remarks were a 'huge insult' to Watanabe.

Hiroshi Sasaki will resign after suggesting plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe could perform as an 'Olympig' at the opening ceremony, in the latest setback for the games. Earlier this year, ex-Games president Yoshiro Mori was forced to quit, after making sexist remarks that female board members talk too much.

In a statement released by the Games, Sasaki said, '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.'

Naomi Watanabe is yet to respond to the comments but is one of Japan's most famous comedians, known for her celebrity impersonations and body positivity work.

Photo credit: Jacopo Raule - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jacopo Raule - Getty Images

Sasaki, who is in charge of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, made the suggestions regarding Watanabe last year via a group chat. His colleagues immediately rejected the proposals and told Saski his comments were inappropriate.

The rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games are due to begin on Friday 23 July 2021.

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