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Placido Domingo won’t perform in cultural events at Tokyo Olympics

Placido Domingo
Placido Domingo talks to the media on Oct. 14 ahead of his concert in Moscow.
(AFP)

The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee said Friday that opera legend Placido Domingo had decided not to perform at pre-Olympics cultural events in Japan.

The committee announced in a statement that Domingo had said he would not perform at an event scheduled for April that was meant to bring together opera and traditional Japanese Kabuki theater and that officials had accepted his decision.

Neither Domingo nor the organizers mentioned sexual harassment allegations against him in relation to his withdrawal.

“After thoughtful consideration, I have made the decision not to participate in the kabuki-opera event due to the complexity of the project,” Domingo said in a statement released through the Tokyo organizing committee.

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Domingo did not give further details about the reason. He wished for the event to be successful while expressing his hope for a new opportunity in the future, according to the Tokyo organizers.

The Associated Press reported in August on extensive sexual harassment allegations against Domingo from decades ago. Multiple women accused Domingo of using his power to pressure them into sexual relationships, including at the Los Angeles Opera, where he was the longtime general director.

U.S. opera houses have canceled Domingo’s appearances following the allegations.

Doming has called the allegations “deeply troubling” and “inaccurate,” saying he believed all his relationships were welcomed and consensual.

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The April event planned by the Tokyo organizers was to feature star Kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa as part of its Nippon Festival to promote Japanese culture and diversity.

The #MeToo movement has not caught on in Japan with the intensity it has in the U.S. and other Western countries, in part because victims in Japan tend to remain silent due to widespread fears about backlash in a society where gender inequality is still evident.


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