Jimmy Carr ‘will leave out Holocaust travellers joke’ when he performs his live show this week as council says it will light up venue in colours of the Romani flag
Jimmy Carr is set to leave his controversial ‘Holocaust travellers joke’ out of his live comedy show in Cambridge on Wednesday and the council has said it will light up the venue in the colours of the Romani flag.
In a widely-shared clip from his Netflix show His Dark Material, Mr Carr joked about the horror of the Holocaust and ‘six million Jewish lives being lost’.
As a punchline, the 49-year-old then made a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of gypsies at the hands of the Nazis.
‘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,’ Carr quipped to a laughing audience.
The audience had reacted with hoots of laughter to the clip of Mr Carr from ‘His Dark Material’ which was widely shared online.
Mr Carr then explained why he thought it was a ‘good joke’, saying that it was ‘f**king funny’, ‘edgy as all hell’ and because it had an ‘educational quality’.
But the joke has caused widespread backlash elsewhere and prompted a debate about racism and free speech.
Jimmy Carr (pictured) is set to leave his controversial ‘Holocaust travellers joke’ out of his live comedy show at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Wednesday
His management is said to have ‘assured’ Cambridge city councillors that no material from the show will feature at the gig at the Corn Exchange.
Cllr Anna Smith said: ‘I share the outrage felt by so many in Cambridge and beyond, regarding these unacceptable remarks. Genocide is not a subject for mockery.
‘As a council, we are committed to working with and supporting marginalized communities, including our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.’
Cambridge City Council said that it will light up the outside of the Corn Exchange in the colours of the Romani flag – red, green and blue – ahead of Carr’s show.
It also announced plans to hand out leaflets to punters about historic and current racism to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people.
David Baddiel, 57, (pictured) was among swathes of other people to slam Mr Carr over the gag
Anti-racism activists say they will protest outside the Cambridge venue on Wednesday evening.
Cambridge Stand Up To Racism wrote on Facebook: ‘We need to inform him [Carr] that his vile racist jokes are not welcome in Cambridge.
‘Our GRT communities are being battered by our government and we can’t allow this further outrage to go by unmarked.’
David Baddiel, 57, was among swathes of other people to slam Mr Carr over the gag.
Mr Baddiel said: ‘You can obviously tell a Holocaust joke that is cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist.
‘Or you can tell one that targets the oppressors, or draws attention to the fundamental evil of it, or shines and light on the humanity of the victims.
‘It’s not the subject matter of the joke that counts, it’s the specifics of the individual joke. Clearly, Jimmy Carr’s was the former.’
The council said it will light up the outside of the venue in the colours of the Romani flag- red, green and blue- ahead of Carr’s show. Pictured: The Cambridge Corn Exchange
Elsewhere, alongside Mr Baddiel, Irish traveller and bare-knuckle boxer Paddy Doherty condemned Mr Carr’s joke.
He said the ‘disgusting’ gag was an insult to the 1.5 million gypsies killed in death camps.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty has called for police to probe Carr’s joke about gypsies killed in the Holocaust
He told the Sunday Mirror: ‘He should be investigated by the police.
‘That wasn’t a joke. He’s talking about mass murder being a positive – would he be allowed to say this about black people killed by the Ku Klux Klan?
‘There’s a level you don’t go to. More than a million of my people were killed.’
The joke was condemned by Labour MPs including Labour’s Nadia Whittome and David Lammy who described it as ‘despicable’.
And Conservative MP and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries told BBC News that the gag was ‘abhorrent’.
It is estimated that between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The joke also sparked outrage from various traveller charities and anti-hate groups after the clip was shared on social media.
In a tweet referencing the joke, The Traveller Movement – a charity supporting the traveller community in the UK, said: ‘This is truly disturbing and goes way beyond humour. We need all your support in calling this out #StopTravellerHate @StopFundingHate.’
The charity launched a petition to Netflix calling for the ‘removal of the segments of His Dark Material which celebrates the Romani genocide’.
Conservative MP and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) told BBC News that the gag was ‘abhorrent’
Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, Chief Executive of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, added: ‘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.
‘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.
‘The widespread ignorance of this recent history needs to be addressed and we urge everyone to learn more about the past and the experiences of Roma people today.
‘Roma and Sinti people still face dreadful prejudice as this incident shows. Please show your support by learning more, challenging hateful comments like these, and following accounts such as Roma Support Group, The Traveller Movement, and Friends, Families and Travellers.’
Mr Carr’s management team were contacted for comment.