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Jimmy Carr condemned for ‘truly disturbing’ joke about travellers in Netflix special

Commentators have said that it is ‘outrageous’ Carr’s stand-up was published on the platform

Jimmy Carr criticised for Holocaust joke about Traveller community
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Jimmy Carr has been criticised for a joke he made in his most recent Netflix comedy special about travellers.

In a widely shared clip of the stand-up show His Dark Material – which arrived on Netflix on Christmas Day – the comedian tells the audience: “Strap in everyone, you ready?”

“When people talk about the Holocaust,” he continues, “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.

“No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk,” he says, “about the positives.”

In the caption alongside the clip, Facebook user Alfie Best wrote: “Really goes to show what some people think. I have one thing to say thank you for sharing your views on gypsies as this spreads hate.

“And it shows the world the abundance of abuse we take as gypsy people, glad the audience found it funny.”

Best’s post has been shared many times on Twitter, with The Traveller Movement’s official account posting: “This is truly disturbing and goes way beyond humour. We need all your support in calling this out.”

The group has also asked Netflix to remove the special from its platform.

A statement has also been issued by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust that called out Carr’s “abhorrent” jokes.

“We are absolutely appalled at Jimmy Carr’s comment about persecution suffered by Roma and Sinti people under Nazi oppression, and horrified that gales of laughter followed his remarks,” CEO Olivia Marks-Woldman said.

“Hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti people suffered prejudice, slave labour, sterilisation and mass murder simply because of their identity – these are not experiences for mockery”.

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Ms Marks-Woldman said the “widespread ignorance” over the persecution of Roma people by the Nazis needed to be addressed, and urged people to “learn more about the past and the experiences of Roma people today”.

“We join the call for Netflix to remove this content from Jimmy Carr’s new show,” organisation Hope Not Hate wrote, sharing The Traveller Movement’s tweet. “Solidarity with the GRT community!”

TV personality Rob Rinder said that the “truly disturbing” thing about the clip is how the audience “clapped” and “cheered” instead of leaving.

Meanwhile, the comedian’s “close friend” David Baddiel also commented on the matter, calling the joke “indefensible”.

Carr is yet to comment officially on the controversy, but reportedly made light of the subject during a stand-up set on Saturday (5 February).

The Independent has contacted Carr and Netflix for comment.

Last April, Carr had predicted that he would “probably get cancelled” when he returned to doing comedy gigs after the easing of lockdown.

Carr has drawn criticism many times over the years for his controversial jokes, which have mocked targets including people with Down’s Syndrome, amputee veterans and people with dwarfism.

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show, Carr told the host: “Not being able to go out there and do what we normally do has been a challenge. They’re talking about June 21st – I’ve got gigs booked in from June 21st… god willing, that would be a return to normality.”

He added: “I think I’ll probably get cancelled, I’ll be a bit giddy and over excited. I’m a dab hand at it now.”

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