With just a few hours remaining for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 to begin, a stupid act by the director of the opening ceremony, way back in 1998, came back to haunt him. The almost long-forgotten stupidity by Kentaro Kobayashi, the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony director, got him ousted over a Holocaust joke he had cracked during a comedy show in '98.

The ouster of Kobayashi comes as a hassle to the opening ceremony he had put together in a bid to see the world's applause reverberate across television screens on Friday. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee has been reported as saying that Kobayashi had uttered "Let's play Holocaust" in a comedy show in 1998, and this was nothing but ridiculing a historical tragedy.

The Holocaust joke he had cracked somehow surfaced and proved to be his bane.

The footage that returned to haunt

Kobayashi, a former member of the comedy duo popularly known as Rahmens, has, no doubt, courted trouble years later. Video footage of the comedy show surfaced online, wherein Kobayashi, who is now 48, is seen as cutting up paper figures of human beings and talking of playing a "let's massacre Jewish people game." It is being said that Jewish groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles came out all against the video soon after it showed up on the microblogging platform Twitter.

Those who lost no time in condemning the Kobayashi act of 1998 lashed out against the event, saying that no one has the right to ridicule the victims of the Nazi genocide.

Kobayashi's association with the Tokyo Olympics 2020 thus turned out to be a sore episode, with activists around the world terming that allowing Kobayashi to continue with the Olympics would only insult the memory of as many as six million Jews.

'Bully' Oyamada faced the music too

Kobayashi's sacking from all things he had associated with the Tokyo Olympics 2020 isn't just a one-off event.

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Musician Keigo "Cornelius" Oyamada, another member of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 opening ceremony team, had been given the marching orders a few days ago after he had boasted that he used to bully disabled classmates. Though apologies came in hastily from Oyamada, damage control was way beyond his reach, and he and his music for the opening ceremony had to be dumped.

Kobayashi also issued a statement reacting to his dismissal.

"Entertainment should not make people feel uncomfortable. I understand that my stupid choice of words at that time was wrong, and I regret it," it said, according to the BBC.

Kobayashi and Oyamada are now out of the scene, but that doesn't mean the Opening Ceremony would lose sheen as the IOC gets ready for the mega event to get underway at 7:00 AM ET on Friday. Stay close to your television sets and streaming platforms to catch every moment of the global event.