Jimmy Carr's Holocaust joke blasted by Downing Street as 'disturbing and unacceptable'

7 February 2022, 12:53 | Updated: 7 February 2022, 15:18

Jimmy Carr addressed the backlash at his show on Saturday
Jimmy Carr addressed the backlash at his show on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Downing Street has waded into the controversial surrounding Jimmy Carr's Holocaust joke branding it "disturbing and unacceptable"

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Boris Johnson's spokesman said it was "unacceptable to make light of genocide" and hinted that the Government could move towards cracking down on platforms that "fail to tackle harmful content"

In the clip from His Dark Material, which aired on Christmas Day, Carr talked about "six million Jewish lives being lost" before making a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of Gypsies under the Nazi regime.

The comedian attempted to make light of the clip in his show at the Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday night, the Mirror reports, telling the audience: "The joke that ends my career is already out there.... it's fine until one day it f***ing isn't."

He added: "I am going to get cancelled, that's the bad news.

"The good news is I am going down swinging."

Read more: Head Gypsy: Jimmy Carr's Holocaust joke 'struck fear into my heart'

Read more: Seething David Lammy calls on Netflix to 'abandon' Jimmy Carr over Holocaust joke

He opened his show by saying: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen."

He then said: "Look at that, I've already upset the non-binary community.

"That has to be a f***ing record."

He also made quips about being in "the last chance saloon", and said what he was saying "is barely acceptable now. In ten years f***ing forget it".

"You are going to be able to tell your grandchildren about seeing this show tonight," he told the audience.

"You will say I saw a man and he stood on a stage and he made light of serious issues.

"We used to call them jokes and people would laugh."

Read more: 'Truly disturbing': Jimmy Carr under fire for Holocaust and Traveller joke

Read more: Shelagh Fogarty condemns Jimmy Carr's 'cruel' Gypsy Holocaust joke

Carr has been heavily criticised for the joke he made on the Netflix show.

Downing Street said Jimmy Carr's comments on the Holocaust were "deeply disturbing".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "It's unacceptable to make light of genocide."

The Government is "toughening measures for social media and streaming platforms who don't tackle harmful content".

Asked whether Netflix should pull the show, the spokesman said: "That will be a matter for them. We are clear that mocking the atrocities of the Holocaust is unacceptable."

The Traveller Movement charity said in a tweet: "This is truly disturbing and goes way beyond humour.

"We need all your support in calling this out #StopTravellerHate @StopFundingHate."

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary and LBC presenter David Lammy tweeted: "Jimmy Carr's attack on the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community is utterly despicable. It was only last week we commemorated the Holocaust. @Netflix should remove his sickening celebration of genocide immediately."

Not-for-profit organisation the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust shared a statement on Twitter from their CEO Olivia Marks-Woldman who said she was "horrified" to hear "gales of laughter" following Carr's remarks.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "These comments from Jimmy Carr are beyond tasteless.

"The targeting of Roma and Sinti during the Holocaust is no laughing matter. Deeply offensive. I also don't understand how this was aired @netflix."