Jimmy Carr Says He Had 'Existential Crisis' After Tax Avoidance Scandal In Cancel Culture Discussion

The comedian said he was "very lucky" to be forgiven for the 2012 scandal.
Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr
Thomas M Jackson via Getty Images

Jimmy Carr has admitted he had an “existential crisis” after his tax avoidance scandal in a discussion about cancel culture.

In 2012, the comedian apologised for having a “terrible error of judgement” over his tax arrangements, after it was revealed he had been using the legal but controversial K2 Jersey-based tax avoidance scheme.

In recent weeks, Jimmy has also faced heavy criticism after making a joke about the Holocaust in his Netflix special His Dark Materials, with the prime minister even weighing in on the controversy.

The comic has now addressed cancel culture during an appearance on John Bishop and Tony Pitts’ Three Little Words podcast.

While it is not clear if it was recorded following recent headlines about his Netflix show, Jimmy said he would “like to think” he’d “be able to be grateful and respectful” if his career “ended tomorrow”, as he opened up about his tax scandal.

“I basically jumped off a building but had a bungee rope,” he said. “I had a tax scandal in 2012 that although to the outside world it might seem like, ‘Oh, cool about it, fine, water off a duck’s back,’ it was an existential crisis, because it felt to me like, well I might not get forgiven for this.

“And in the midst of cancel culture, I was very lucky, because I got cancelled for something that’s very easy to forgive – I don’t mean easy to forgive in terms of what your moral views are, but it’s very easy to see what to do. If you get caught in a tax avoidance, pay the money back, say you’re sorry. Great.”

Jimmy continued: “We cannot forgive what we cannot punish. So a lot of people get cancelled for things and you go, well he didn’t do anything illegal, but we don’t like it, and we can’t punish it, so I guess he’s cancelled forever.

“It seems that religion does it much better than our culture, because religion has a way back and they have redemption and it’s a better system.”

He added: “It was a pretty rough couple of days.

“I’ve got friends who have been through worse than that. But the thing that it gave me that is… there’s value in everything, right? So you go through something like that, you become a much better foul weather friend. So you know what to do when someone is going through something.”

Earlier this month, Jimmy sparked criticism after he 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 Travellers at the hands of the Nazis as a punchline.

Following his remarks, anti-hate groups condemned the comic, with health secretary Sajid Javid describing the joke as “horrid”.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries also shared plans to hold streaming services like Netflix to account for airing such content.

The Little Words is available to stream on Amazon Music.


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