David Baddiel has called out Jimmy Carr for his controversial joke about the Holocaust, suggesting the joke was “indefensible.”
the 8 Out of 10 Cats presenter and comedian has been widely criticized for a joke he made in Netflix comedy special His Dark Material, which was released on Christmas Day 2021.
In the clip, the comedian says: “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.”
Carr then adds: “No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk about the positives.”
As the clip began circulating on social media, several MPs and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust criticized Carr and called upon Netflix to remove the special.
Baddiel, who said he is a “close friend” of Carr’s, shared his take on the matter on Saturday, explaining why he thinks the joke is deserving of criticism. “You can obviously tell a Holocaust joke that is cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist. Or you can tell one that targets the oppressors, or draws attention to the fundamental evil of it, or shines a light on the humanity of the victims.”
Baddiel told his followers: “I said this every night during my Trolls: Not The Dolls tour as part of a bit arguing that it’s not the subject matter of a joke that counts, it’s the specifics of the individual joke. Clearly, Jimmy Carr’s was the former.”
He then shared what he believes to be an acceptable Holocaust joke told by Devorah Baum, adding: “This is the joke I was leading to, which is, unlike Jimmy’s, I think defensible.”
Baddiel also added that “Jimmy is a close friend of mine and a brilliant stand-up in general”, stating: “Makes no difference to how I feel or think about this specific joke.”
The comedian said: “Meanwhile, away from stupid discussions about the limits of comedy, my sympathies are with the Roma and Sinti community who suffered so much during the Holocaust.”
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
Carr is yet to comment on the controversy.
Earlier this week, Baddiel, who is Jewish, was praised for his “eloquent” breakdown of Whoopi Goldberg’s controversial comments about the Holocaust.
Goldberg was suspended from US talk show The View for saying that the Holocaust “isn’t about race”, a remark that led to widespread condemnation.
Appearing on good morning britain to discuss the matter, Baddiel said: The problem with it is there are so many issues – and I’m a fan of Whoopi Goldberg’s – but there are so many issues with what she said. It does reveal an awful lot about the confusions people have around antisemitism.”
“One of the principle things going on here is the resistance to the idea that antisemitisim is racism,” he continued. “What does Whoopi Goldberg think it is? What a lot of people think it is religious intolerance [but] the Nazis were not interested in faith; they were interested in racial purity.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.