Anti-hate campaign group demands Netflix cut Jimmy Carr Holocaust joke

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Anti-Hate Campaign Group Demands Netflix Cut Jimmy Carr Holocaust Joke Anti-Hate Campaign Group Demands Netflix Cut Jimmy Carr Holocaust Joke
Jimmy Carr, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Ellie Iorizzo, Senior Entertainment Reporter PA

A campaign group has accused Netflix of “a grave error of judgment” for broadcasting a show by comedian Jimmy Carr in which he jokes about the Roma and Gypsies killed in the Holocaust.

Hope Not Hate has demanded that the joke be removed and a public apology issued.

The comedian, known for his stand-up and hosting roles on shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats, prompted a backlash after a clip from his one-hour Netflix special, His Dark Material, was shared widely on social media.

In the clip, Carr jokes about the horror of the Holocaust and “six million Jewish lives being lost” before making a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of Gypsies at the hands of the Nazis as part of the punchline.

Anti-hate groups such as the not-for-profit organisation Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and The Auschwitz Memorial have condemned the comedian for the joke.

On Wednesday, the chief executive of Hope Not Hate, Nick Lowles, who worked with Netflix to create the documentary Nail Bomber: Man Hunt to promote the positive messages of social cohesion, wrote a letter to the streaming giant.

Mr Lowles said: “Broadcasting a ‘comedy’ show by Jimmy Carr that makes a joke out of the Roma and Gypsies killed in the Holocaust is reprehensible.

“It also demonstrates a grave error of judgment on the part of Netflix in allowing this sketch to be aired.

“We totally accept that comedy can be both subjective and edgy. Indeed, some of the best comedy is when comedians transmit a serious message about a difficult issue with humour.

“The supposed joke about the positives of Gypsies being killed in the Holocaust was not one of these.

“We also strongly believe in free speech and people, including comedians, being able to say and do things that we might personally disagree with.

“But with freedoms comes responsibilities, and in any modern democratic society there are lines that should not be crossed. A line was crossed here.”

In the letter, Mr Lowles referred to comments made by comedian David Baddiel who condemned Carr’s joke but added he is a “close friend and a brilliant stand-up” on Twitter.

Mr Lowles added: “Jimmy Carr has refused to apologise for his joke. In fact, he has doubled down and has attempted to portray himself as an innocent victim of cancel culture.

“This is total nonsense. His refusal to accept the offence he has caused to the people he claims to have been promoting by his joke only adds insult to injury.

“Just as Jimmy Carr must be answerable for his actions, so Netflix must be answerable for theirs, made all the worse by your subsequent silence.

“Like Carr, there is no recognition for the offence caused. Like Carr, there is no public apology.

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“A year ago I felt proud to be working with Netflix. Now, I’m deeply disappointed that I need to ask you to remove this racist and offensive clip immediately and offer a public apology for the hurt you have caused.”

Mr Lowles ended the letter by inviting Netflix to a meeting with Hope Not Hate, The Traveller Movement and the Roma Support Group to shine a light on how Carr’s comments “re-opened old wounds”.

The Traveller Movement, a charity supporting the traveller community in the UK, has also launched a petition calling for Netflix to remove the segment of the programme “which celebrates the Romani genocide”.

Carr issued a “trigger warning” to the audience at the beginning of his one-hour special, which aired on Christmas Day, admitting his performance contained “terrible things”.

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