Olympics Composer Drops Out After Bullying Accusations

His resignation comes four days before the ceremony and after he apologized for bullying disabled classmates when he was a student. 
Olympics Composer Drops Out After Bullying Accusations
Image credit: Atsushi Tomura | Getty Images

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Keigo Oyamada, a Japanese musician who goes by Cornelius, pulled out of the creative team for the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony after days of controversy Monday.

His resignation comes four days before the ceremony and after he apologized for bullying disabled classmates when he was a student. 

In the 1990s, Oyamada gave Japanese magazines the details of his bullying of at least one disabled classmate, telling Rocking on Japan that he tried to lock the other student in a vaulting box and wrap the box with a mattress. According to NBC News, Oyamada also recalled forcing a classmate to eat his own feces and masturbate in front of other students.  

Related: 12 Inspirational Moments From Past Olympics

He was put in charge of the music for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and his inclusion on the creative team garnered significant blowback from people who remembered his previous boasts.

He announced his resignation on Twitter.

According to Nikkei Asia, his statement says it was inappropriate for him to accept the invitation to compose the music for the opening ceremony.

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Organizing Committee, said Saturday that the organization “didn’t know about this” part of the composer’s past.

The Olympics’ close relationship with the Paralympic Games, in which disabled athletes compete, was a source of contention among Oyamada’s detractors. 

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