Cornelius resigns from Tokyo Olympics after bullying history resurfaces
Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada has resigned from his position at The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as a composer for the opening ceremonies, after old interviews, where he admitted to bullying classmates in school, including persons with disabilities, resurfaced. Oyamada released a statement on Twitter today, writing, "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," and that he had "offered (his) resignation to the organizing committee."
On Friday (7/16), Keigo released a statement (translated by Arama Japan), saying "I sincerely apologize to my classmates and their parents who have been hurt by my words and actions, and I feel deep regret and responsibility for not being a good friend in school life, which is supposed to make good memories, but being in a position to hurt them.” The Tokyo Olympics organizers had decided to let him stay, taking his apology into account, but Kyodo News reports that today they released a statement saying it was the "wrong judgment" and decided to accept Oyamada's resignation.
One of the interviews with Oyamada was from a January 1994 issue of Rocking on Japan, here translated by this Japanese blog:
Keigo Oyamada: "Bullying in my school was terrible."
Interviewer: "But, you said you were on the side which bully someone."
Keigo: "Yeah. I bullied many classmates. I think I bullied them really really badly. Take this opportunity to apologize for (laughs). I mean, my bullying was so cruel."
Interviewer: "You did outrageous things?"
Keigo: "Yeah. I did many things against humanity. I made my classmates naked and bondaged. Besides, I forced him to masturbate. I also forced him to eat my shits and throw him with backdrop."
The Tokyo Olympics, which are set to start on Friday (7/23) after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic, have been mired in controversy, including COVID concerns, drug testing, sexism, gender equality and diversity, and more.