An anti-hate campaign has demanded that Netflix removes a clip of Jimmy Carr making an “offensive” joke about the Holocaust, saying it must acknowledge its “grave error of judgement”.
Hope Not Hate wrote a letter to the streaming giant calling for a public apology to be issued, adding that allowing the show to be aired with the joke in was “reprehensible”.
As part of his set, the British comedian 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.
Just as Carr must be answerable for his actions, so Netflix must be answerable for theirs. pic.twitter.com/ywmS54TZZH
— HOPE not hate (@hopenothate) February 9, 2022
The clip, taken from his one-hour Netflix special, His Dark Material, was shared widely on social media and sparked a public backlash.
‘We strongly believe in free speech’ but ‘a line was crossed’
Chief executive of Hope Not Hate, Nick Lowles, said in his letter to the entertainment site that a “line was crossed”.
“Broadcasting a ‘comedy’ show by Jimmy Carr that makes a joke out of the Roma and Gypsies killed in the Holocaust is reprehensible,” he wrote.
“It also demonstrates a grave error of judgement 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.”
Mr Lowles added: “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.”
Other anti-hate organisations, such as Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and The Auschwitz Memorial, have also condemned Carr for the joke.
‘This is total nonsense’
Mr Lowles also called out the 8 out of 10 Cats host in his letter, saying he has tried to portray himself as an “innocent victim of cancel culture”.
On Monday, Mr Carr responded to the joke’s controversy by telling gig-goers that he is “going down swinging”.
“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,” Mr Lowles wrote.
“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.”
Carr issued a “trigger warning” to the audience at the beginning of his show, which aired on Christmas Day, admitting his performance contained “terrible things”.
Mr Lowles, who has previously worked with Netflix to make the documentary Nail Bomber: Man Hunt, concluded his letter by saying he was “deeply disappointed” and inviting the company to attend a meeting with Hope Not Hate, The Traveller Movement and the Roma Support Group.