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Health Secretary describes Jimmy Carr’s Holocaust joke as ‘horrid’

Jimmy Carr has been heavily criticised (Matt Crossick/PA)
Jimmy Carr has been heavily criticised (Matt Crossick/PA)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has described a joke made by Jimmy Carr about the travelling community and the Holocaust as “horrid”.

The comedian, known for his stand-up and roles on shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats, prompted criticism after a clip from his recent one-hour Netflix special, His Dark Material, was shared widely on social media.

In it, Carr joked 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 as part of the punchline.

Coronavirus – Wed Jan 19, 2022
Health Secretary Sajid Javid criticised Jimmy Carr (Henry Nicholls/PA)

Mr Javid told Times Radio the joke was “horrid”.

He added: “I think we all have a right to react to that, and one of the best ways anyone can react to that is show these platforms what they think about Jimmy Carr by not watching or listening to him, and that will send him a very strong message.”

The Traveller Movement, a charity supporting the traveller community in the UK, has launched a petition calling for Netflix to remove the segment of the programme “which celebrates the Romani genocide”.

It said the joke in question was “truly disturbing and goes way beyond humour”.

Not-for-profit organisation the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and The Auschwitz Memorial have also condemned the joke while calling on Carr to educate himself about the Holocaust.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries suggested new laws could hold to account streaming sites including Netflix for airing jokes such as those made by Carr.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast last week, she said: “We are looking at legislation via the Media Bill which would bring into scope those comments from other video on-demand streaming outlets like Netflix.

“So it’s interesting that we’re already looking at future legislation to bring into scope those sort of comments.”

Fellow comedian David Baddiel, a close friend of Carr who has written widely about anti-Semitism, has also criticised him over the joke, describing it as “mean-spirited” and “cruel”.

Carr issued a “trigger warning” to the audience at the beginning of his Netflix special and warned viewers it contained “terrible things”.

According to The Mirror, he appeared to address the controversy during a performance at the Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday night.

Discussing so-called cancel culture, he told the audience: “The joke that ends my career is already out there.”

Carr and Netflix have been contacted for comment.

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