Ghost in the Shell: Arise Composer Cornelius Tenders Resignation From Olympics After Youth Bullying Resurfaces


Anime News Network 19 July, 2021 - 07:15am 5 views

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Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada resigned on Monday from the creative team for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics after admitting that he bullied children with disabilities many years ago, in the latest scandal rocking the already unpopular games.

The resignation of Oyamada, who was in charge of composing music, comes just before Friday’s opening ceremony after sparking an outcry on social media for his past actions, with his recent apology failing to ease the uproar online questioning the appropriateness of his role in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Oyamada said on Twitter Monday that his acceptance of the request to be part of the team was something that “lacked consideration to various people,” and that he had “offered (his) resignation to the organizing committee.”

Games organizers said in a statement that their earlier decision to have him stay in his post, taking into account his apology and the forthcoming games, was a “wrong judgment” and decided to accept Oyamada’s resignation.

The well-known musician’s exit from the games followed days of controversy over his confessions in magazines published in the 1990s in which he boasted about bullying people including his classmates in his childhood. After his appointment was announced last Wednesday, his confessions from decades ago surfaced and calls for him to step down intensified.

Oyamada admitted on Friday that interviews published in the January 1994 edition of magazine Rockin’On Japan and in the August 1995 edition of magazine Quick Japan had quoted him correctly when he spoke about bullying childhood classmates with disabilities “without any regrets.”

Only days before the start of the Olympics, which will be held mostly without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic, users immediately took to Twitter to vent their anger and frustration over the turn of events.

“There is no way that a person who boasts about bullying classmates with disabilities after becoming an adult should be allowed” to play an active part in the Paralympics, one Twitter post said.

“The Tokyo Olympics is filled with so many problems that I cannot write all of them down. It is, in a sense, a legendary Olympics,” another user tweeted. Others criticized the games organizers for not learning at all from past scandals.

In his tweet last week, Oyamada said, “I sincerely feel that such acts and language must be criticized” and that he feels “deep regret and responsibility” for what he describes as his “extremely immature” actions.

He added he has felt guilty about it for a long time and that he hopes to contact the people he bullied to issue a personal apology.

Aoi Matamura, secretary general of a support group composed of people with mental disabilities and their parents, said the latest scandal should not just end with his resignation, urging Oyamada to “explain himself in his own words” and for the organizing committee to clarify its process in selecting him.

Top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said that “bullying and abuse are acts that must not happen and are utterly intolerable, regardless of whether a person has a disability or not.”

Ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics set to start Aug. 24, Kato, the chief Cabinet secretary, said, “We would like to firmly deliver the spirit of ‘barrier-free’ toward realizing an inclusive society.”

Yoichiro Yamazaki, editor-in-chief of Rockin’On Japan, also apologized for running the interview with Oyamada, saying “It was the wrong thing to do from the point of view of morals and sincerity.”

“I offer a deep apology to all the victims and their families as well as to those who felt displeasure reading the story,” said Yamazaki, who interviewed Oyamada for the story in question.

Oyamada, a former member of Flipper’s Guitar along with Kenji Ozawa, went solo under the stage name Cornelius in 1993. He gained popularity among the young for the “Shibuya-kei” pop music sound in the 1990s.

The scandal is not the first to rock the Tokyo Games, which will finally start after a one-year postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori stepped down in February as head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee after coming under fire at home and abroad for saying meetings with women tend to “drag on” because they talk too much.

The Summer Games’ creative director, Hiroshi Sasaki, also resigned in March after it was revealed he had privately suggested plus-sized celebrity Naomi Watanabe dress as a pig for the opening ceremony to play the role of an “Olympig.”

U.S. media also reported on the latest scandal, with broadcaster NBC, whose parent NBCUniversal Media LLC has the rights to broadcast the Tokyo Games, saying in its story on Sunday that on social media, “critics were far from forgiving” despite Oyamada’s apology.

It included in the story a tweet that read, “How can a person who committed such discriminatory and violent acts be considered qualified for getting involved in Olympic and Paralympic Games?”

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Composer for Japan's Olympic opening ceremony resigns

Nikkei Asia 19 July, 2021 - 01:11pm

TOKYO -- Keigo Oyamada, composer for the Olympic opening ceremony in Tokyo, said on Monday that he will resign following his admission that he had bullied classmates with disabilities in the past.

Oyamada recently came under fire after past magazine interviews came to light. In the interviews, he talked about having bullied his classmates with disabilities without showing any remorse.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, Japan's top spokesman, said earlier in the day that the issue needs to be dealt with appropriately by the Japanese Olympic organizing committee.

"The government is working toward a society of coexistence," Kato said, adding that Oyamada's behavior should not be tolerated.

Oyamada released a statement on his twitter account disclosing his resignation.

In the statement, he said he has offered his resignation and that it had been inappropriate for him to accept the committee's invitation to compose the music for the opening ceremony.

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Reuters 19 July, 2021 - 01:11pm

Advocacy group questions decision to use Tokyo Games musician under fire for past bullying - The Mainichi

The Mainichi 19 July, 2021 - 01:11pm

TOKYO -- An advocacy group for those with intellectual disabilities in Japan released a statement on its website on July 18, describing bullying as "unforgivable" in connection with musician Keigo Oyamada, who was named to be in charge of music at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics but came under fire online over past magazine confessions that he bullied classmates for years.

In the statement, the advocacy group maintained that "bullying and abuse are unforgivable acts, regardless of whether the victim has a disability or not." It also stated, "It's beyond our understanding why Oyamada thought himself fit to be in charge of music at the Olympics, given the Olympic Charter vows to act against 'any form of discrimination,' as well as the Paralympics, which is a festival for athletes with disabilities."

Oyamada confessed that he had bullied classmates with apparent disabilities in interviews in the January 1994 issue of the Rockin'On Japan magazine and another publication, and this was cited and came under fire on social media. The musician issued an apology on his Twitter account on July 16, expressing "deep regret and responsibility" over his actions. On July 17, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games CEO Toshiro Muto indicated the committee's intention to keep Oyamada as a creative team member and claimed he "did not know" about the comments made in the magazine interviews.

The advocacy group pointed out that the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, which appointed the musician to be in charge of music for the Tokyo Games' opening ceremony, and has decided to keep him in the post even after the issues surfaced, "is deeply accountable."

Furthermore, considering factors including that the Games are just about to be held, and that Oyamada has issued an apology, the group stated that it "will not go so far as to demand that the musician's participation in the Games' music be called off." However, it strongly asserted that following recent events, "there are many people with disabilities, as well as their families and related parties, who have become unable to enjoy the Tokyo Games."

(Japanese original by the Digital News Center)

Copyright THE MAINICHI NEWSPAPERS. All rights reserved.

Tokyo Olympics Composer Quits, Apologizes for Disturbing Bullying of Disabled Kid

TMZ 19 July, 2021 - 01:11pm

Even worse -- he made the claims himself ... in interviews back in the 1990s.

It's truly disturbing, but Oyamada -- now 52 years old -- once bragged to local news media that he forced a disabled boy to masturbate in front of others and eat his own feces.

The interviews were conducted when he was not yet famous, but they resurfaced recently when it was announced he would be involved in the opening ceremony.

Oyamada -- who writes under the name "Cornelius" and is popular in Japan for creating the Shibuya-kei beat -- has apologized for his "very immature" behavior ... and is backing out of the gig.

As you know ... the Summer Games have faced many challenges -- mostly related to the COVID-19 pandemic -- including star athletes being forced to miss them for one reason or another, ongoing protests, and even scrutiny about its beds.

But, the latest controversy might take the cake, and lends credence to the notion that anything can go wrong with these Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics: Composer Keigo Oyamada resigns over bullying at school

BBC News 19 July, 2021 - 01:11pm

Old magazine articles resurfaced in which Keigo Oyamada, 52, boasted of the bullying and said he had no regrets.

After the scandal broke, the performer apologised. But the outrage in Japan has now led to his resignation.

It is the latest setback for the games, which are opening on Friday under the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak.

"I have become painfully aware that accepting the offer of my musical participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics lacked consideration to a lot of people," said Mr Oyamada, who is widely known as Cornelius.

In a statement, the Tokyo 2020 organising committee said Mr Oyamada's actions were "absolutely unacceptable".

"In light of his sincere apology, we expressed a willingness to allow Mr Oyamada to continue his work on preparations in the short time remaining before the opening ceremony," it said.

However, the committee later decided to accept his resignation and apologised for the "offence and confusion caused".

The organisers of the Tokyo games have had to deal with several high-profile resignations.

In March, creative chief Hiroshi Sasaki quit after suggesting that a female comedian could appear as an "Olympig".

Mr Sasaki said plus-size entertainer Naomi Watanabe could wear pig ears at the opening ceremony. He later apologised.

In February, Yoshiro Mori was forced to step down as the head of the organising committee after he made remarks about women that were criticised as "inappropriate".

Mr Mori was quoted as saying women talked too much and that meetings with many female board directors would "take a lot of time".

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