Tokyo Olympics’ Creative chief, Hiroshi Sasaki stepped down from his post after commenting that Naomi Watanabe, a plus-size female comedian, could wear pig ears at the Games’ opening ceremony, as an “Olympig”.
Sasaki later apologized and acknowledged that his remark was “a huge insult”, but Watanabe has not responded as of writing.
In a statement, he said: “There was a very inappropriate expression in my ideas and remarks. I sincerely apologize to her and people who have felt discomfort with such content.”
The suggestion, made in a group chat on messaging app Line, was immediately nixed by colleagues, who told him that it was in bad taste.
Sasaki resigned after his comment was published in weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun last week. Organizers had also announced that Games president Seiko Hashimoto would speak on the matter at a news conference earlier this week.
Watanabe is one of Japan’s most popular comedians, known for her impersonations of celebrities as well as her efforts focused on body positivity.
In the past years, she has headed a body positivity campaign called “pochakawaii” meaning “chubby and cute”. Seven years ago, she launched a clothing line that caters to plus-size individuals.
(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)