Jimmy Carr: Boris Johnson calls comedian’s Holocaust joke ‘deeply disturbing’

No 10 has waded into the controversy over comedian’s Netflix special

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 07 February 2022 13:13
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Jimmy Carr criticised for Holocaust joke about Traveller community

Boris Johnson has condemned Jimmy Carr’s Holocaust joke about travellers.

The prime minister’s spokesperson said that the the comedian’s comments, made during a Netflix stand-up special, were “deeply disturbing”.

“Obviously, those comments are deeply disturbing and it is unacceptable to make light of genocide,” the full quote read.

When asked whether the PM thought Netflix should remove the special, the spokesperson added; “That would be a matter for them. We are clear that mocking the atrocities of the Holocaust is unacceptable.”

However, he added that legislation is being pushed through to make streaming services more accountable for dangerous content on their platforms.

“We are looking at toughening measures for social media and streaming platforms which don’t tackle harmful content on their platforms,” the spokesperson said.

“We are looking at regulatory changes for streaming companies. We are clear that any change in legislation needs to be proportionate, to ensure freedom of speech within the law is not stifled.”

Carr has found himself at the centre of widespread controversy after a clip from the special was highlighted on social media on Friday (4 February).

The comedian himself is yet to officially comment on the controversy, but addressed the furore during a stand-up set on Saturday (5 February) after being heckled by an audience member. It is reported that he “made light” of the backlash during the show.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson called Jimmy Carr’s joke ‘deeply disturbing’

In the footage, the 8 Out of 10 Cats presenter says: “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of six million Jewish lives being lost to the Nazi war machine. But they never mention the thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis.”

He then adds: “No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk about the positives.”

Carr’s joke has been derided by several MPs, including Savid Javid, and organisations like the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Netflix is being urged to remove the special, with David Baddiel, a “close friend” of the comedian, calling the joke “mean-spirited” and “indefensible”.

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