Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, strongly condemns the statement by British comedian Jimmy Carr, who referred to the genocide of Sinti and Roma as something positive in his programme “His Dark Materials” broadcast on the streaming service Netflix:
“If the British ‘entertainer’ Jimmy Carr believes it is appropriate to make insulting jokes about the suffering of 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma, only to be able to subsequently present himself as a victim of ‘cancel culture’ in public discourse, then he is above all revealing his contempt for humanity towards the victims of the Holocaust. Among us German Sinti and Roma there is no family that did not lose relatives in the Holocaust. Of my family, there were 13, including my grandparents.
Jimmy Carr also knows that a large part of his audience does not take seriously his subsequent educational explanation that he wanted to point out the often unknown genocide of the Sinti and Roma. All that sticks with them is the cheap punch line that serves deep-seated anti-gypsy hatred.
Artists who are in the limelight and reach many people have a great responsibility. So do the corporations like Netflix that spread such outbursts. If Jimmy Carr interprets his responsibility to mean that it is alright to mock people who do not have as large a public reach as he does, then broadcasters and media corporations should reconsider working with him in the future. By making a cheap joke, which incidentally was not his first outburst against members of the minority, Jimmy Carr not only wants to ridicule the victims of the Holocaust against the Sinti and Roma and their descendants, he is poisoning the social climate and dangerously contributing to the division of our society.
Moreover, he believes he can determine what people should find funny and what they should not. I also appeal to the media, who are now reporting on this incident all over the world, to keep their eyes on the increasing anti-Gypsyism worldwide, which should be outlawed just as much as anti-Semitism because of history.”