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

5 February 2022, 07:26

Jimmy Carr has been criticised over a Holocaust joke
Jimmy Carr has been criticised over a Holocaust joke. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Comedian Jimmy Carr has come under fire for a "truly disturbing" joke about Travellers and the Holocaust in a new Netflix show.

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A widely-shared clip shows Carr talk about "six million Jewish lives being lost" before making a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of Gypsies under the Nazi regime.

Carr, 49, opens his special His Dark Material – which aired on Christmas Day - with a "trigger warning" to the audience and Netflix described it as containing "career enders".

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."

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It has launched a petition calling for the "removal of the segments of His Dark Material which celebrates the Romani genocide", which has been signed by more than 3,000 people.

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."

Hope Not Hate, the anti-fascism and anti-racism campaigning group, said: "Comedy is an amazing tool for progressive change and it's such a shame that @jimmycarr decided to use his platform to celebrate the murder of one of the most marginalised groups in society."

The Auschwitz Memorial said Carr should "learn about the fate of some 23 thousand Roma & Sinti deported to Auschwitz".

"It's sad to hear words that can fuel prejudice, hurt people & defile memory of their tragedy,” the group tweeted.

A representative for Carr was contacted for comment.