Olympics opening ceremony composer pulls out after past bullying surfaces online

Keigo Oyamada – aka Cornelius – has resigned after reports of past bullying of classmates were shared online

Cornelius, the Japanese composer working on the music for the opening ceremony of the imminent Tokyo Olympic Games, has stepped down after reports of past bullying of classmates were shared online.

The composer, real name Keigo Oyamada, was working on the music for the opening ceremony, which is set to take place on Friday (July 23).

In advance of the opening of the games, though, Oyamada came under fire for resurfaced reports of bullying classmates during childhood, including those with disabilities.

“I sincerely accept the opinions and advice I have received, express my gratitude, and will keep them in mind for my future actions and thoughts,” the musician wrote on social media. “I apologise from the bottom of my heart.”

After reports of the past bullying surfaced last week, Olympics organisers said that Oyamada’s remorse over the situation meant he could stay on as composer for the opening ceremony.

Following his resignation yesterday (July 19) however, organisers then called his actions “absolutely unacceptable,” and their initial decision to allow him to stay on “wrong”.

“We offer our deepest apologies for the offense and confusion caused to so many during this time,” they said.

Writing on his website when the reports first began to resurface last week, Oyamada said: “We sincerely apologize for making many people feel very uncomfortable about my participation in music production at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games… I am deeply sorry for my classmates and their parents who have been hurt by my remarks and actions, and in school life, which is supposed to make fun memories, I did not become a good friend, but rather I was in a position to hurt.

“I feel deep regret and responsibility. When I was a student and at the time of the interview, I think I was a very immature person who could not imagine the feelings of the victims.”

The Olympic Games are set to take place in Tokyo, Japan from July 23 to August 8. Spectators are set to be banned from a large number of events due to rising COVID-19 cases in the city.

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