Downing Street: Jimmy Carr's genocide joke is 'deeply disturbing' and 'unacceptable'

·2-min read
Jimmy Carr attends The Irishman International Premiere and Closing Gala during the 63rd BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 13, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jimmy Carr in London, England. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Downing Street has commented on Jimmy Carr's genocide joke, calling it 'deeply disturbing'.

Carr has been under pressure since a clip from his latest Netflix special, His Dark Material, started doing the rounds on social media last week.

In the clip, the 8 out of 10 Cats host comments on the awfulness of "6 million Jewish lives being lost" before going on to say "thousands of Gypsies" being killed by the Nazis was one of "the positives" of the Holocaust.

Read more: Jimmy Carr addresses 'racist' travellers joke during stand-up set

Asked about Carr's joke, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson said: “Those comments are deeply disturbing and it is unacceptable to make light of genocide.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves No:10 Downing Street to make a speech in the British parliament in London, United Kingdom on January 31, 2022. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaving No:10 Downing Street, 2022. (Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

However, the spokesperson refused to comment on whether the special should remain on Netflix, saying: “I’m not necessarily going to draw on a specific example. We are clear that any change in legislation should be proportionate to ensure freedom of speech that is within the law is not stifled.”

He continued that it was a "matter for them" referring to Netflix on whether they should remove Carr's show.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06:  Jimmy Carr performs onstage for 'Give It Up For Comic Relief' at Wembley Arena on March 6, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Jimmy Carr performs onstage for 'Give It Up For Comic Relief', 2013 (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Other members of government have been more direct in their criticism of the comedian.

Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, called on people to boycott the comedian and his work and called the joke "horrid". He went on to tell Times Radio: “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.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27:  Comedian Jimmy Carr speaks onstage at The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe will premiere on September 5, 2016 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Jimmy Carr speaks onstage at The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries also said that Carr's comments were "abhorrent" and "shouldn't be on television".

Downing Street had previously announced new legislation that would give the government greater control over the content on streaming services which are currently not regulated in the same way as TV channels, which are overseen by Ofcom.

Carr has also been criticised by organisations such as Hope Not Hate, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Auschwitz Memorial.

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