Tokyo 2020 'axed opening ceremony musician for being black'
One musician claims he was banned from the Olympic opening ceremony because he was black, with organizers facing a third line-up within a week.
Latyr Sy, a Senaga percussionist who has lived in Japan for 20 years, accused organizers of racism after being booked and then canceled for the kick-off.
“It's totally racist,” Mr Sy reportedly said, “I was told they said, 'Why this guy? Why this African? ’
"I've seen a lot, I've felt a lot, but that just doesn't fit the Olympics. Why should I be silent?"
Tokyo 2020 did not respond to requests from the Telegraph on the allegations on Friday.
The lawsuit comes just a day after organizers fired the show's director over a joke about the Holocaust.
Kentaro Kobayashi's comments in a 1998 comedy sketch sparked a groveling apology from Seiko Hashimoto, the newest Olympic boss.
The troubled opening ceremony already dealt with the headache of the eleventh hour of replacing a composer who had to resign over the weekend for historical bullying and abuse of disabled children.
Mr Sy had told the Independent website that he had been booked by a third party for the December ceremony, sent the rehearsal schedule in April, but then informed the Independent from a PR firm that the organizers had refused to hire him because of his African origins .
He said he saw a rehearsal on television and found that his portion of the show had also scrapped another Senegalese musician who was supposed to appear.
"When I saw it, I was just sad," he said. “I'm from a small island, a slave island called Goree. I've lived in this country for more than 20 years and these scandalous Olympics ... it hurts, "he told the website, adding that he" didn't want to blame anyone. "
Mr. Sy, who was also contacted by The Telegraph, had previously traveled internationally to play on behalf of the Japanese government.
The saga organizers faced this week came after creative director Hiroshi Sasaki resigned in March after suggesting that plus-size comedian Naomi Watanabe could perform as "Olympian".
In February, Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign after saying that women talked too much.
With largely empty stands due to a ban on spectators, the event had already been plagued by Covid-19 difficulties. Only 23 of the 375 British athletes showed up in Tokyo on Friday night.
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