Jimmy Carr Condemned For 'Vile' Holocaust Joke About Gypsy, Roma And Traveller Community

The Netflix special His Dark Material faces huge backlash after clip is widely shared.
Jimmy Carr performs at Virgin Money Unity Arena in 2020.
Jimmy Carr performs at Virgin Money Unity Arena in 2020.
Thomas M Jackson via Getty Images

Jimmy Carr has been denounced for a “truly disturbing” joke made about the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and the Holocaust in his latest Netflix special.

The comedian, known for his stand-up and roles on shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats, issued a “trigger warning” to the audience at the beginning of his one-hour show, His Dark Material, admitting his performance contained “terrible things”.

In a widely-shared clip from the show, Carr, 49, said: “When people talk about the Holocaust, 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 wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives.”

Mikey Walsh, author of the best-selling memoir Gypsy Boy, tweeted that he didn’t know what he should be more “disgusted” by, “the kind of Racism that us GRT people are forced to live with every day … that it’s still absolutely ok to demonise us & our demise as a joke … or the reactions of whooping and cheering from the audience.”

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 have now launched a petition to Netflix calling for the “removal of the segments of His Dark Material which celebrates the Romani genocide”.

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

“In funding, streaming and profiting from this material, Netflix is legitimising and perpetuating racism,” Whittome wrote in her letter.

“Material of the kind on your platform does not exist in isolation and it has real-life consequences.”

In a synopsis of the programme, which aired on Christmas Day, it says the special features jokes which are “career enders”.

Similarly, not-for-profit organisation the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust shared a statement on Twitter from their CEO Olivia Marks-Woldman who was “horrified” to hear “gales of laughter” following Carr’s remarks.

Hope Not Hate, the anti-fascism and anti-racism campaigning group, also condemned the comedian’s joke on Friday.

In a tweet, they said: “Comedy is an amazing tool for progressive change and it’s such a shame that @jimmycarr decided to use his platform to celebrate the murder of one of the most marginalised groups in society.”

The Auschwitz Memorial called for Carr to “learn about the fate of some 23 thousand Roma & Sinti deported to Auschwitz” in a tweet to their 1.2 million followers.

They added: “It’s sad to hear words that can fuel prejudice, hurt people & defile memory of their tragedy.”

A representative for Carr has been contacted for comment.


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