Tokyo Games Creative Head Resigns over Derogatory Comment

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The creative chief of Tokyo Olympics has resigned after commenting that a female comedian could appear as an “Olympig.” 

Hiroshi Sasaki suggested that plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe wear pig ears at the opening ceremony. Later on, he apologized and admitted that his remarks were a huge insult. Ms. Watanabe has yet to respond to this issue. 

“There was a very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks,” Mr. Sasaki said in a statement released through the Games organising committee. “I sincerely apologise to her and people who have felt discomfort with such contents.”

Naomi Watanabe is one of Japan’s most well-known comedians

33-year-old Watanabe is one of Japan’s famous comedians and is famed for her celebrity impersonations, as well as her body-positivity advocacy. 

In recent years, she led a body-positive movement called “pochakawaii”, which means “chubby and cute.” She also established her brand and is one of Japan’s first to make plus-size clothing. 

66-year-old Mr. Sasaki, who is in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, made the suggestion last year on a group chat on the messaging app Line. His suggestion was immediately rejected by colleagues who told him that it is inappropriate. 

Shortly after the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported his insulting remark, he resigned Wednesday. 

This issue came shortly after the ex-Games president, Yoshiro Mori, faced public backlash when he stated that women talk too much and that meetings with female board directors take a lot of time. 

The current Games president Seiko Hashimoto plans to address the issue at a news conference Thursday. Since being appointed, Ms. Hashimoto has promised to prioritized equality at the Games, adding 12 female directors to the organizing committee.