Boris Johnson Condemns Jimmy Carr’s ‘Unacceptable’ Joke About The Holocaust

"We can understand why people would be deeply offended," the PM's spokesperson said.

Boris Johnson has condemned Jimmy Carr’s joke about the Holocaust and the Traveller community in his Netflix special, His Dark Material.

A spokesperson for the PM said that “mocking the atrocities of the Holocaust is unacceptable” and backed Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’ plans to hold streaming services to account for airing such content.

In a widely-shared clip from the hour-long Netflix show, Carr spoke about the horror of the Holocaust and “six million Jewish lives being lost” before making a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of Travellers at the hands of the Nazis as a punchline.

Carr has received widespread criticism over the comments, with calls for Netflix to remove the joke and petitions urging the comedian to apologise.

Boris Johnson and Jimmy Carr
Boris Johnson and Jimmy Carr

In a statement to HuffPost UK, Johnson’s spokesperson said: “We are clear that mocking the atrocities of the Holocaust is unacceptable.

“What we are focused on is making sure that social media and streaming services are more accountable and moving forward with our legislation.

“We don’t think that this is acceptable and we can understand why people would be deeply offended.

“Making light of the Holocaust in this way is simply unacceptable.”

On Saturday, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries also condemned Carr’s joke during an interview on BBC Breakfast, suggesting that new laws would hold to account streaming sites for airing such jokes.

Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries
Future Publishing via Getty Images

“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,” she said.

The MP said the comments were “shocking and abhorrent and unacceptable, not just because he was making fun on the basis of people who died in the most appalling circumstances, but on the pain and suffering of many thousands of families”.

She added: “Jimmy Carr’s comments, no one can call that, you know, snowflake or wokeishness, that’s just… it was just appalling.”

In a separate interview with Times Radio, she said: “We don’t have the ability now, legally, to hold Netflix to account for streaming that but very shortly we will.”

Asked on Sky News if there was any way this new law would put restrictions on free speech, she said: “No, absolutely not. We’ve been very, very… well because I’m a Conservative, I’ve been very, very careful about that.”

On Monday morning, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Times Radio the joke was “horrid”.

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid
Future Publishing via Getty Images

“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,” he said.

Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, has also urged Netflix to remove Carr’s “vile anti-GRT and antisemitic material”.

On Saturday night, Carr took to the stage for the first time since the controversy hit the headlines for his stand-up show at the Whitley Bay Playhouse.

He told the audience he was “going down swinging” and that “the joke that ends my career is already out there.”

Jimmy Carr on stage.
Jimmy Carr on stage.
Thomas M Jackson via Getty Images

According to the Mirror, a heckler at the gig yelled out: “Are we going to talk about the Holocaust?”

Jimmy replied: “We are going to talk about cancel culture, the whole thing.”

“We are speaking my friends in the last chance saloon,” he told the audience.

“What I am saying on stage this evening is barely acceptable now. In 10 years, fucking forget about it.

“You are going to be able to tell your grandchildren about seeing this show tonight.

“You will say I saw a man and he stood on a stage and he made light of serious issues.

“We used to call them jokes and people would laugh.”

He continued: “I am going to get cancelled, that’s the bad news. The good news is I am going down swinging.

“The joke that ends my career it’s already out there. It’s on YouTube, Netflix, or whatever, and it’s fine until one day it fucking isn’t.”

Jimmy’s friend and fellow comedian David Baddiel spoke out about the Netflix joke in a series of tweets over the weekend.

The comic pointed out the difference between cruel jokes about the Holocaust and ones that target the oppressors.

Meanwhile, Judge Rinder star Robert Rinder labelled Carr and the audience at his Netflix special who “clapped, whooped and cheered” over the joke, “complete incorrigible turds”.

Robert, who is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, made his feelings clear during a panel discussion about the hour-long special on Talk Radio.

HuffPost UK has contacted Carr’s reps for comment.


What's Hot