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July 1, 2022



British-Irish comedian makes tasteless "joke" about the Holocaust and Roma, sparking outrage

11.2.2022 8:14
Jimmy Carr (PHOTO: Albin Olsson, Wikimedia Commons)
Jimmy Carr (PHOTO: Albin Olsson, Wikimedia Commons)

A wave of negative comments has arisen internationally in response to a "joke" the British-Irish comedian Jimmy Carr included in his stand-up show broadcast on the Netflix streaming service. Some media outlets have refused to quote or replay what he said in their news reporting, while others have clearly warned readers and viewers that people could be hurt, offended or triggered by it. 

The "joke", in which Carr makes fun of the mass murder of Roma and Sinti people during the Holocaust (using the word "G*psies"), may even impact legislation in the UK. Carr can be seen in a clip that has now been extensively shared online suggesting that the deaths of thousands of Roma and Sinti at the hands of the Nazis were one of the "positives" of the Holocaust.

The Auschwitz Museum, the charity Friends, Families & Travellers, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in the UK and Romani representatives have all condemned the "joke". Olivia Marks-Woldman, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said she was horrified that applause and "gales" of laughter follow the comedian's remarks in the clip being shared.

"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," Marks-Woldman told the BBC. British Culture Minister Nadine Dorries wants to propose a new law that would hold streaming services accountable in such situations.

Carr has responded by saying he expects his next show to be cancelled. "I am going to get cancelled, that's the bad news. The good news is I am going down swinging," media have quoted him saying while complaining that he isn't being allowed to make fun of serious things.

An estimated half a million European Roma and Sinti died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators in World War II. Some estimates put the number of Romani victims at 800 000, i.e., as much as half of the population of Roma and Sinti.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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