Hiroshi Sasaki, the creative chief of the Tokyo Olympics, announced early Thursday that he has resigned from his post after his suggestions in 2020 about dressing a female Japanese entertainer as an “Olympig” were revealed to the public.
Sasaki had been in charge of leading the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
According to an article published by the Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun, Sasaki planned to dress Naomi Watanabe, a plus-size Japanese entertainer, in a pig costume that would be called as “Olympig”, and then lower her into the Olympic stadium while sticking her tongue out, saying that the act “would make her look charming.
In his statement on Thursday morning, Sasaki revealed his intention to resign and acknowledged that the derogatory and sexist remarks he made are “very inappropriate”.
“There was a very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks,” he said. “I sincerely apologize to her and people who have felt discomfort with such contents.”
In reply, Watanabe said she was surprised by the suggestions that Sasaki made.
“In fact, I am happy with my figure. So, as always, I would like to express myself as ‘Naomi Watanabe’ without being particular about being fat. However, as a human being, I sincerely hope that we can have a fun and prosperous world where we can respect and recognize each person’s individuality and way of thinking,” the Japanese performer said in her statement.
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