Carr defended his joke by saying it has an “educational quality”Albin Olsson/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Jimmy Carr will face anti-racism protests when he takes to the stage for his show at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Wednesday evening (16/02).

Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Cambridge plan to hold a demonstration outside the Corn Exchange in response to the comedian’s comments about the Holocaust and Gypsy communities in his Netflix special, His Dark Material.

In the special, Caius alumnus Carr said: “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of 6 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 wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives.”

SUTR have also launched a petition to Netflix, which has gained over 19,000 signatures so far.

Explaining their reasons for the protests, SUTR said: “Hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, Roma, and Traveller people were killed in the Holocaust. Roma people call it ‘Porajmos’, meaning ‘the devouring’.

“Historians estimate that as much as 25-50% of the entire Romani and Sinti population of Europe were victims of genocide at the hands of the Nazis, a crime of almost unimaginable proportions.

“To this day, affected communities in the UK and across Europe still struggle to navigate this immense collective trauma and come to terms with the scale of grief and loss.”

While they acknowledged that comedy is “subjective”, they said that when “punchlines are indistinguishable from the genuinely-held views of fascists and Neo-Nazis, a line has very clearly been crossed.”

Cambridge City Council has said that the Corn Exchange will be lit up on Wednesday in “solidarity” with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and in “remembrance of the victims of the Porrajmos”. They also plan to hand out educational leaflets about the “historic and current racism” faced by these communities.


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Cambridge City Council leader Councillor Anna Smith expressed her “outrage” about the comedian’s remarks, saying that “Genocide is not a subject for mockery”.

“As a council, we are committed to working with and supporting marginalised communities, including our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. That is affirmed in our city’s equality pledge, which states our belief in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity.”

Carr justified the joke by saying it was “fucking funny” and had educational value.

The planned protests come after widespread condemnation of the comedian’s comments, with Sajid Javid calling for people to boycott Carr and Downing Street labelling the joke “deeply disturbing”.