Derogatory comment gets a boss response.

On 17 March, Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun broke the news that Hiroshi Sasaki, chief creative director for the Olympics and Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies, had made the suggestion that comedian Naomi Watanabe appear at the opening ceremony dressed as a pig.

Watanabe was scheduled to appear at the opening ceremony and Sasaki said he thought she would look “charming as an ‘Olympig’, dressed in a pink outfit with her tongue poking out”.

The remark received condemnation from around the world, and Sasaki issued an apology, resigning from his post shortly after the news came to light.

While Watanabe initially remained silent on the issue, she’s now released a statement through her agency, Yoshimoto Kogyo, written in three languages– Japanese, English, and Chinese–which reads:

Reports by the media relating to a talent affiliated with Yoshimoto

A talent affiliated with Yoshimoto, Naomi Watanabe, has been referenced in the media in connection with her participation in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Yoshimoto and Naomi Watanabe are not aware of all the contents of such articles and, therefore, do not know their authenticity. However, Naomi Watanabe’s comment is as follows:

“In regards to the Olympics, I was discreetly offered, last year, through my company to take part in the Opening Ceremony. Because of the postponement of the Olympic Games due to COVID-19, I was informed that such offer was also rescinded. I have not been informed of anything since then, and I am very surprised to be hearing through reports in the media about a different direction regarding my participation than I had been initially told.

As Naomi Watanabe, a person in the public eye, it is true that there are times when people have told me my physique is large, and I have been working with the understanding that there will be times when I will be taunted for it.

In reality, I am very happy with my figure. Therefore, I want to continue to express myself not only as someone who is large but as ‘Naomi Watanabe.’

However, as one human being, I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that the world can become a joyous place where each person’s individuality and ideas are respected and accepted by all.

I also have a lot to learn myself, but with the help and guidance of those around me, I will continue to dedicate myself to creating entertainment that everyone can enjoy.”

The formal statement shows Watanabe cutting straight to the subject of her physique, with the comedian saying she’s perfectly happy with her figure and hopes for a world where people can look past size to simply respect people for who they are.

▼ As this Lady Gaga parody video shows, Watanabe is proud to celebrate her curves, and she’s a talented dancer to boot.

The calm, considered response to the derogatory remark has earned Watanabe praise from people around the country, eliciting comments like:

“So nice to read her calm response. This is why we love her.”
“Such a cool attitude!”
“Her comments are far more mature and adult-like than his were.”
“Benevolent Queen!”
“As always, super cool. Go Naomi!”

Watanabe certainly knows how to deliver a classy response while calling out body shaming, and her self-love is proving to be an inspiration to people everywhere.

With the talented 33-year-old now pursuing bigger dreams in the U.S., in line with plans made earlier in the year, this definitely won’t be the last we see of the Japanese star. In fact, with one of her goals being to play the lead in an American comedy movie by the time she’s 40, she may be on her way to becoming a Hollywood star soon too.

Sources: Yoshimoto KogyoShukan Bunshun, Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Instagram/watanabenaomi703
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