Yet another scandal struck the organizers of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Olympics’ creative director, Hiroshi Sasaki, had to resign following inappropriate comments about women, which caused a major backlash from the Japanese public.
Sasaki spoke about a celebrity Naomi Watanabe in a rude manner, which would eventually come back at him like a boomerang. Watanabe, one of Japan’s biggest entertainers, was a subject of talk between Sasaki and one of his colleagues. During the same, Sasaki said that she could be involved in the opening ceremony as an “Olympig”, ironically playing with the word Olympic.
#TokyoGames Head Creative Director of the opening and closing ceremonies Hiroshi Sasaki said today that he will "step down" over a "derogatory suggestion involving a popular female entertainer he made last year to some planning staff members."
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) March 17, 2021
After the scandal reached the public in Japan, Sasaki was under heavy pressure, dealing with criticism and call for his resignation.
He would try to make things right, saying that he feels sorry for previous actions and apologizing to Watanabe. Sasaki was the mastermind of the opening and the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, and was the one who created and designed the handover ceremony in Rio back in 2016.
Even though he did his job impeccably, Sasaki would be remembered as one of the most embarrassing figures in Japanese sport. In the end, he became just another big name from the organizing committee to step down following controversial behavior.
The first one was the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, who was involved in a bribery affair. After him, Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee, also backed down from his position due to sexist comments. Mori’s departure from arguably the most important role in the Olympic’s organization team was a global scandal. For several weeks, this news filled the headlines all around the world, damaging the already poor reputation of the Games.
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 8, 2021
After Tokyo won the race for the Olympics, many believed that the Japanese capital would make the event without any troubles. Yet, as time went by, one scandal after another emerged to the surface, diminishing the reputation of the Japanese Olympic Committee.
The COVID-19 pandemic already rocked the foundations of the entire event, and the most recent incidents with high-positioned persons in charge of the organization won’t make the situation better.
Right now, the Japanese people are turning against the Olympics. The recent polls suggest that a vast majority of the public is in favor of postponing or even canceling the Games.