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

5 February 2022, 10:12

Head Gypsy: Holocaust joke 'struck fear into my heart'

By Seán Hickey

Comedian Jimmy Carr's joke about the Roma Genocide in the Holocaust validates racism against Gypsies and Travellers, a senior member of the community tells LBC.

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Jimmy Carr made a joke in a comedy special relating to the ethnic cleansing of the Romani community as part of the Holocaust.

In the show, Mr Carr tells the audience that nobody ever mentions the Roma Genocide as "nobody ever wants to talk about the positives" of the Holocaust, which has landed him in hot water.

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

Billy Welch is the Shera Rom, or Head Gypsy, of the Gypsy and Traveller Community of the United Kingdom. He told Andrew Castle that Mr Carr's comments were reprehensible, noting that "there are still people alive today whose family went through this" which shows the insensitivity of the joke.

Andrew shared the response of Mr Carr, who argued that in the context of a comedy show "everything is fair game" and "nothing is beyond the pale."

Rabbi condemns Jimmy Carr Holocaust joke

"That statement is as false as Jimmy Carr's laugh" Mr Welch clapped back. He added that the crowd's response was just as chilling.

"When I heard the crowd laughing, it struck fear into my heart."

He found it horrifying "to think we live in a society – 21st century Britain – where this can be made a joke out of."

The Head Gypsy of the Gypsy and Traveller Community of the United Kingdom reminded listeners that racism against Gypsy and Traveller people is still rife in the country and thus such a joke, along with the response from the audience reinforces such views.

"I'm as disgusted in the audience as I am in Jimmy Carr".