'Concerning' | 

Pavee Point says Irish venues should drop Jimmy Carr after Gypsy joke

The British comedian is currently facing criticism for a joke featured in his Netflix special His Dark Materials.

Comedian Jimmy Carr

Neasa Cumiskey

A Traveller and Roma support centre has said that Irish venues should “reconsider” hosting Jimmy Carr’s upcoming gigs.

The British comedian is currently facing criticism for a joke featured in his Netflix special His Dark Materials.

The 49-year-old made light about the murder of Gypsies during the Holocaust, saying: “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. No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk about the positives.”

Martin Collins, co-director of Traveller and Roma rights organisation Pavee Point, said that Carr’s comments were “dangerous and concerning.”

“These comments from Jimmy Carr go beyond racism, he actually glorifies genocide,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"Let's remember: a minimum of 500,000 Roma Gypsies were persecuted by the Nazis during the Second World War - men, women and children.

“And then this guy takes to the stage, and he begins to trivialise and make fun of this terrible genocide.

“So he is, in effect, glorifying genocide which is extremely dangerous and concerning.”

Carr is due to play several comedy gigs around Ireland later this year - including Dublin, Cork, Galway, Dundalk, Sligo, and Waterford.

But Mr Collins thinks that venues should consider cancelling his shows.

He said: “We understand he will be doing a number of live shows in Dublin in May.

“I'm asking the promoters and the owners of these venues to reconsider hosting Jimmy Carr.

“This was a case of blatant racism... and in advance of the show, he actually said, ‘This is a career-ending joke.’

“So, he was deliberately courting publicity and controversy.”

Mr Collins continued: “I do think there has to be some sanction; I'm not suggesting for one moment that the guy's career would end.

“But certainly, I think a number of shows should be cancelled so we send out a very clear, unequivocal message that this sort of racism and glorifying genocide in any platform is just not acceptable.

“There has to be a balance between free speech and protecting vulnerable communities from being further victims of racism.”

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