The head of the Tokyo Olympics’ creative team has recently resigned after making derogatory remarks about a female Japanese comedian.
Hiroshi Sasaki, 66, mentioned in a group chat last year that plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe, 33, could wear pig ears and be an “Olympig” during the Olympics’ opening ceremony, according to CNN.
On Wednesday, a Japanese magazine exposed Sasaki’s messages. Sasaki eventually apologized, stating that his words were “a huge insult” to Watanabe, the BBC reports.
According to NPR, Sasaki addressed the controversy in a recent statement: “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.”
Sasaki expressed his intention to step down from his position as creative chief, which Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto confirmed in an official statement.
Various social media users took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the controversy.
Creative Director of #Tokyo2020, Hiroshi Sasaki, suggested dressing up 🇯🇵’s plus-sized celebrity, Naomi Watanabe, as a pig for the opening ceremony and call it “OlymPig”. I want to cry.
Last month, his role as president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee was appointed to Hashimoto, a seven-time Olympian who has served as the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Minister of State for Gender Equality in the Government of Japan, among other roles.