Culture secretary

Culture Secretary: Says new laws will prevent Netflix from airing offensive comments after Jimmy Carr uproar


Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has suggested the government could pass legislation that would stop steam services from showing offensive content.

The Minister was speaking in reference to jokes made by comedian Jimmy Carr in which he sheds light on the deaths of the traveling community during the Holocaust.

The segment sparked a furious reaction online with critics calling it “truly disturbing” and “beyond tasteless”.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (Steve Parsons/PA)

/ PA wire

Ms Dorries suggested that future legislation will “hold Netflix accountable” for delivering such content.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, she said: ‘We are looking at legislation through the Media Bill which would implement these comments from other video on demand outlets like Netflix.

“So it’s interesting that we’re already looking at future legislation to incorporate those sorts of comments.”

Ms Dorries said the comments were ‘odious and just shouldn’t be on TV’.

In 2017, Ms Dorries herself posted a tweet decrying that ‘leftist snowflakes kill comedy’.

When it was brought to her attention, she replied, “Well, that’s not comedy.

“What Jimmy Carr did last night is not a comedy.

“And you know, I’m not an angel on Twitter, no one is, but I would just like to say that nothing I’ve ever put on Twitter has been harmful or abusive.

“But last night… Jimmy Carr’s comments, nobody can call it, you know, snowflake or alarm clock, it’s just… it was just appalling.”

She said the comments were “shocking, hateful and unacceptable, not only because it mocked people who died in the most appalling circumstances, but the pain and suffering of many thousands of families”.

She told Times Radio: “We don’t have the ability now, legally, to hold Netflix accountable for streaming, but we will very soon.”

When asked on Sky News if it was possible this new law would restrict free speech, she replied: ‘No, absolutely not. We’ve been very, very…well because I’m a conservative, I’ve been very, very careful about that.

The Traveler Movement, a charity which supports the travel community in the UK, said: ‘This is truly disturbing and goes way beyond humor.

In a tweet, the charity said: “We need all your support to call this #StopTravellerHate @StopFundingHate.”

The charity has launched a petition calling for the “removal of segments of His Dark Material which celebrate the Roma genocide”.

The nonprofit Holocaust Memorial Day Trust shared a statement on Twitter from its executive director Olivia Marks-Woldman, who was “horrified” to hear “peers of laughter” following Carr’s remarks.

The Auschwitz Memorial called on Carr to “inquire about the fate of some 23,000 Roma and Sinti deported to Auschwitz” in a tweet to his 1.2 million followers.

The Standard has approached representatives for Jimmy Carr and Netflix for comment.