Today, over 120 Parliamentarians signed an APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma and APPG for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity joint letter to Netflix in response to Jimmy Carr’s use of the Roma Holocaust in his Netflix show.
In the letter to Netflix Headquarters, the overwhelming response from parliamentarians condemns and calls for the removal of Jimmy Carr’s ‘His Dark Material’ from Netflix.
The letter follows the circulation of a clip in which Jimmy Carr explains the lack of awareness around Roma and Sinti suffering during the Holocaust as, ‘no one wants to talk about the positives [of the Holocaust]’.
The letter states:
“Immediate removal of Jimmy Carr’s Holocaust ‘joke’
We write to you demanding the removal of the ‘joke’ about the Holocaust from Jimmy Carr’s ‘His Dark Materials’ currently on Netflix.
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.”
Hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti people suffered prejudice, slave labour, sterilisation and mass murder simply because of their identity – these are not experiences for mockery.
Netflix’s approval and funding of this material legitimises and perpetuates discrimination and racism.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities continue to face systematic discrimination. Allowing this material to exist on Netflix will have real life consequences.
Jimmy Carr’s “joke” about the murder of Gypsy and Roma people in the Holocaust is offensive and disgusting. It normalises and endorses racism – and this is a step towards crimes against humanity and genocide.
You very deliberately approved this and we call on you to remove it immediately.
The Culture Secretary has also condemned Netflix over Jimmy Carr’s comments and has stated that legislation will change to regulate media content, to hold Netflix to account ‘very shortly’. However, we urge Netflix to remove ‘His Dark Materials’ immediately, rather than awaiting legislative change.
Fleur Anderson MP and Lord Sheikh
Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and Baroness Whitaker
Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma”
You can view the letter with a full list of co-signatories, here.
During the Holocaust, estimates show that as much as 25-50% of Europe’s Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Nazi regime. Many experienced imprisonment, forced labour, forced sterilisation and medical experimentation.
Every year, International Roma Genocide Remembrance Day takes place on the 2nd August to remember the Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust.
Speaking about the letter, Lord Sheikh, Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity:
“Many people think that the Holocaust and its violence is all in the past, but what we can see from this, is that not. The Holocaust didn’t start from nothing – it crept up, built on the back of hatred and discrimination such as racism. In keeping content like this in their catalogue, Netflix not only endorses, but actively participates in ongoing prejudice and discrimination against Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers, and builds it into everyday life in the form of jokes. This cannot be condoned.”
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, had this to say:
“It is clear that the continued demonising of vulnerable peoples across the world is fair game for lame comedy; it is also clear to fair minded people that ridicule while it can be construed as comical is a passing fancy, one that can breed contempt. The duty of democratically elected representatives mindful of our own past, is to be a clarion voice for the fringe, for the dispossessed and those whom the privileged ridicule. Our duty as democrats is to acknowledge and value the worth of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community across these islands, and to raise them up, not put them down.”
Baroness Janet Whitaker, Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma, said this about Jimmy Carr’s ‘His Dark Material’ segment:
“Racial hatred of this magnitude is intolerable in a civilised society. I hope that schools will reinforce the message that all people are of equal worth and equally worthy of respect and that police forces up and down the country will take appropriate measures to address such dangerous race hate incidents and crimes.”[END]
Notes to editors
- The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity is a cross-party group that brings parliamentarians, academics, and civil society organisations together to ensure that the UK does all it can to prevent genocide. You can find out more at: https://www.aegistrust.org/what-we-do/activities/appg/ or on Twitter, @GenocideAPPG. The APPG is co-chaired by Fleur Anderson MP (Labour), and Mohammed Sheikh, the Lord Sheikh (Conservative). It’s officers are Brendan O’Hara MP (SNP), Feryal Clark MP (Labour), Lord Nick Bourne (Conservative), Lord John Alderdice (Liberal Democrat), Rushanara Ali (Labour), and Florence Eshalomi (Labour).
- The All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma provides a forum for parliamentarians concerned about issues facing Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities and seeks to address these issues and challenge inequalities. You can find out more at https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/our-flagship-projects/appg/ and on Twitter @APPGGTR. The APPG is chaired by Martin Docherty-Hughes MP (SNP) and Baroness Janet Whitaker (Labour).