David Baddiel has described Jimmy Carr’s joke about Roma and Sinti people being murdered in the Holocaust as ‘indefensible’.
Baddiel, 57, spoke out against his ‘close friend’ after Carr’s Holocaust joke, taken from his Netflix special, went viral in recent days.
In the special, which was released on Christmas Day 2021, Carr says people ‘never mention the thousands of Gypsies that were killed by the Nazis’ in the Holocaust, because ‘no one ever wants to talk about the positives’.
Carr, 49, who himself described the joke as a ‘career-ender’, has faced severe backlash from Traveller and Roma charities, anti-fascist organisations and even several MPs.
Now fellow stand-up comedian Baddiel, who is Jewish, says Carr’s joke was ‘cruel and inhumane’.
Writing on Twitter, Baddiel recalled telling audiences during his Trolls: Not The Dolls Tour: ‘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.’
He added: ‘Clearly, Jimmy’s was the former.’
In the Twitter thread, he described Jimmy as ‘a close friend of mine and a brilliant stand-up in general’.
However, he said, how he feels about Jimmy ‘makes no difference to how I feel or think about this specific joke’.
Baddiel argued that ‘it’s not the subject matter of a joke’ that causes it to be indefensible but ‘the specifics of the individual joke’.
He referred to an old joke by comedian Devorah Baum on a Holocaust survivor meeting God after their death, and said, ‘unlike Jimmy’s I think [it is] defensible]’.
‘Which is why it’s racism. One’s Jewishness, just like one’s skin colour, is an accident of birth, and as far as the racists are concerned — and they, sadly, are the people that matter as far as racism goes — you can never lose either.’
Carr’s Holocaust joke has led to pressure on Netflix to remove the segment from his special, or remove the stand-up special as a whole, with a petition from The Traveller Movement picking up thousands of signatures.
While many appear to agree with Baddiel that the joke is ‘indefensible’, Only Connect star Victoria Coren-Mitchell defended Carr on Twitter on Saturday, saying he is a ‘properly decent person’.
She wrote: ‘While I’m here, might take a moment to mention I also love @JimmyCarr, a close friend who’s made about a thousand jokes I wouldn’t make myself, as a stage performer, but as a man is full of goodness and kindness’.
She added that she would still defend him had Carr made a joke about Jewish people murdered by the Nazis.
Historians estimate that between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered during the Holocaust.
Metro.co.uk has reached out to reps for Jimmy Carr for comment.
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