Netflix Services UK Limited
Torrington Place, 3rd Floor Suite C
7 February 2022
Dear Netflix UK
Jimmy Carr’s so-called ‘joke’ about the Holocaust in the Netflix special His Dark Material is shocking and offensive and should be removed immediately. As Mr Carr’s words appear to us to meet the threshold of hate speech, we wish to know whether Netflix has taken legal advice on this. Mr Carr’s words carry the clear implication that violence against Roma and Travellers is a good thing. The ‘joke’ – even in full context – communicates the vile idea that hatred of Roma and Travellers is somehow acceptable. Netflix appears not to have considered the risk of the programme inciting violence among the many thousands of people this broadcast would inevitably reach, or indeed whether any people in the live audience might have a Roma or Traveller background. Given Mr Carr’s complete indifference to how his audience might feel about the murder of Roma people being celebrated in their presence, his claim to be raising awareness of the Holocaust or of anti-Roma prejudice is so obviously insincere that it adds insult to injury.
If Mr Carr had any serious intention of raising awareness, many options were available to him as a prominent person. He chose instead to use your platform to suggest that the murder of hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti by the Nazis was a ‘positive’ thing. Hate speech is not something to disseminate at all, let alone via a major comedy broadcast. The fact that many in Mr Carr’s audience laughed at this so-called ‘joke’ is troubling in and of itself. In our view, however, this does nothing to lessen Mr Carr’s responsibility for his own public statements. It is hard to imagine such a hateful statement about a genocide directed at any other ethnic group being allowed to remain on Netflix for such a long time. We demand that this section of the programme be removed. Whether Mr Carr should face further consequences should, in our view, be a matter for the police in the first instance.
The Wiener Holocaust Library is the world’s oldest and Britain’s largest archive of evidence of Nazi genocide, and it contains extensive material documenting the persecution and murder of Jews, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other persecuted groups whose painful history Mr Carr abused so recklessly. I am sure you will agree that the evidence of the horrific nature of these crimes is immensely important. We would therefore like to invite a Senior Executive from Netflix to visit the Library in the hope of preventing similar incidents in future, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Dr Toby Simpson