Jimmy Carr criticised for Holocaust joke about Traveller community
Netflix

Comedian Jimmy Carr has sparked controversy for a joke he made about members of the Gypsy and Traveller community who were murdered in the Holocaust.

In the joke made during his Netflix stand-up special, Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material, Carr inferred that Travellers being killed by the Nazis was one of the “positives”.

Carr said: “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of 6 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 wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives.”

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Comedian David Baddiel criticised Carr for targeting the victims rather than the oppressor with his joke.

Baddiel said, “it's not the subject matter of a joke that counts, it's the specifics of the individual joke” and shared a previous quote in which he talked specifically about Holocaust jokes.

Journalist Jay Rayner has also said there’s no justification for “grim material about the Holocaust” and spoke about when Carr was a guest on his podcast released in December 2021.

Rayner tweeted: “I challenged him on justifications for jokes about rape, child abuse etc. (That etc is doing big heavy lifting).

“Judge for yourself how convinced I was. (Answer: Not very). There’s none for the grim material about the Holocaust.”

Philip Pulman, the author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, which the title of Carr’s Netflix special riffs on, has called for it to be renamed after the “abominable, sickening” joke.

Pullman wrote: “I had no idea what Jimmy Carr would be talking about in his show, which I'm not going to name.

“His 'joke' about the Holocaust is abominable, sickening, and I'd be very glad if he called his show something else from now on.”

A star of Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Paddy Doherty, has also criticised Carr’s joke in a series of videos posted on his Instagram.

In the clips, Doherty condemned Carr, saying: “This fella turns it into a joke, it’s beyond it... it's disgusting, it’s a different level.”

He continued: “How he could even discuss about killing us and think [it’s] positive to kill us like we're vermin.”


Author Mikey Walsh who wrote the 'Gypsy Boy' book series shared the clip added: "I don’t know what I should be more gutted or disgusted by here.. the kind of Racism that us GRT people are forced to live with every day...that’s it’s still absolutely ok to demonise us & our demise as a joke…or the reactions of whooping & cheering from the audience.."

However, Carr has found support in some quarters, including from conservative figures like Jordan Peterson and Laurence Fox.

Peterson called for people to “leave Jimmy Carr alone”, while Fox said the backlash to the joke shows “how weak and terrified the crumbling the establishment is”.

Fellow comedian Reginald D Hunter initially tweeted about the controversy, writing: “Coulda sworn I saw people laughing at it…”

Later, he said that he himself had received backlash and blamed “woke love” saying it is “conditional”.

He wrote: “Just had a fan discontinue their fanhood because of what I said here about Jimmy Carr's joke.

“Woke love is the most conditional love I've ever seen.”

Another supporter of Carr’s is the Only Connect presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell, who, amid the controversy, called the comedian a “properly decent person” and a “close friend”.

She wrote: “While I’m here, might take a moment to mention I also love @JimmyCarr a close friend who’s made about a thousand jokes I wouldn’t make myself, as a stage performer, but as a man is full of goodness and kindness. He’s a properly decent person.”

GB News host Andrew Doyle also suggested on his show that the best solution for people who are offended by Carr's jokes, or any other controversial comments, is to just not watch them.

Musicians Right Said Fred admitted that they weren't fans of Carr but were considering defending him just to annoy SNP councillor Julie McKenzie.

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