10 Downing St. condemn Jimmy Carr Holocaust joke

He described the slaughter of Gypsies as a ‘positive’ of the Shoah


The Board of Deputies has joined others in speaking out against Jimmy Carr’s joke about traveller victims of the Holocaust in his latest Netflix special, His Dark Material.

In the show, he said, “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of six million Jewish lives being lost to the Nazi war machine. But they never mention the thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis."

 “No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk about the positives,” he added, with his punchline greeted with a widespread laughter from the audience. 

His Dark Material, which was released on Christmas Day, was according to the British Comedy Guide website, the most streamed UK stand-up special of the festive period, viewed on more than 1.7 million devices in the country. 

The set, however, resurfaced on social media this week, sparking outcry, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gypsies, Travellers and Roma calling on Netflix and Channel 4 to “review their ongoing work with someone who belittles genocide to humour.”

The Traveller Movement also condemned the “disturbing” clip which it said “goes way beyond humour.”

The Board of Deputies echoed a chorus of criticism, as it wrote on Twitter, “there are no 'positives' to be drawn from the Holocaust and the Porajmos – the Nazi genocide of the Roma people.”

Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, also condemned the comment and said the charity was “horrified that gales of laughter followed his remarks. “

Comedian David Baddiel also waded into the row, as he wrote on Twitter, “You can obviously tell a Holocaust joke that is cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist.

“Or you can tell one that targets the oppressors, or draws attention to the fundamental evil of it, or shines and light on the humanity of the victims.

“It’s not the subject matter of the joke that counts, it’s the specifics of the individual joke. Clearly, Jimmy Carr’s was the former.”

Netflix declined to comment. The streaming giant also came under fire late last year over jokes made by US comedian Dave Chappelle in a stand up special in which he likened Jews to alien colonisers.

Mr. Carr appeared to allude to the controversy during a show at the Whitley Bay Playhouse in Tyne and Wear on Saturday.

According to the Mirror, he said on-stage, “I am going to get cancelled, that's the bad news. The good news is I am going down swinging. The joke that ends my career it's already out there. It's on YouTube, Netflix, or whatever, and it's fine until one day it f***ing isn't.

Several prominent politicians also waded into the row, and a Downing Street spokesperson said,: Those comments are deeply disturbing and it is unacceptable to make light of genocide.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told BBC Breakfast on Monday the remarks were “abhorrent and they just shouldn’t be on television.”

Speaking to Times Radio also on Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid suggested the public should stop watching Mr Carr’s shows. 

He said: “I think we all have a right to react to that, and one of the best ways anyone can react to that is show these platforms what they think about Jimmy Carr by not watching or listening to him, and that will send him a very strong message."

Mr. Carr was approached for comment.

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