Jimmy Carr asked not to repeat ‘joke’ branded ‘abhorrent’ by Mark Drakeford during Cardiff show
Cardiff Council has sought assurances that Jimmy Carr will not repeat a joke branded “abhorrent” by the First Minister, when the comedian performs in Cardiff next week.
Jimmy Carr is due to perform in Cardiff on Monday, but his performance was subject of a question in the Senedd by Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price who said it should be cancelled. Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Mark Drakeford agreed that the joke was unacceptable.
On his Netflix special His Dark Material on Christmas Day, Jimmy Carr had said that no one mentioned the “thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis” because “no one wants to talk about the positives”.
A spokesperson of Cardiff Council and St David’s Hall however said they had been assured that the same material will not be repeated as part of his new show.
“Following the comments made by Jimmy Carr in his Netflix show, St David’s Hall has been in touch with Jimmy Carr’s management,” they said.
“Whilst we have no direct control of artistic content, we have been assured that the show he will perform does not repeat any material from Mr Carr’s offending Netflix special.
“Cardiff Council and St David’s Hall understands and shares the deep offence and distress Jimmy Carr’s comments caused to the Romani and Traveller community.
“To demonstrate our support for the community we will be lighting the St David’s Hall fins in the colours of the Romani Flag on the evening of the performance.”
Dr. Adrian Marsh, a researcher in Romani studies, however said that the Welsh Government’s stance on the issue undermined their own anti-racism stance.
“The First Minister’s suggestion that permission for the show to go ahead at St David’s Hall, the national center for the arts, culture and entertainment, is a matter for the Council, is bogus,” he told Golwg360.
“Mr Drakeford certainly has the power to veto the show, as St David’s Hall is government-funded through the Arts Council of Wales.
“It is also the case that, if Jimmy Carr had ‘racially’ insulted Welsh people, he would not have been allowed to continue, but it is clear that the views and feelings of the Romani and Traveling communities are less important.
“It is also shocking that the City of Cardiff Council is considering enabling the show to go ahead; if Jimmy Carr had said the same thing about Jewish people, or Black people, his show would have been cancelled without thinking twice.”
Speaking in the Senedd last week, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price asked Mark Drakeford to call on Cardiff Council to cancel the performance.
“While the spectre of fascism is stalking Europe again, the comedian Jimmy Carr is still refusing to apologise for implying that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Gypsies at the hands of the Nazis was somehow something to be celebrated,” Adam Price said.
“Next Monday, he is performing in our capital city at St David’s Hall. Welsh Gypsies are asking the venue to cancel the performance in solidarity with them. St David’s Hall is owned and managed by Cardiff Council and subsidised by the Arts Council of Wales, which the Welsh Government funds.
“As First Minister, and indeed as leader of the Labour Party in Wales, will you ask the Labour leadership of Cardiff Council to agree to the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities’ entirely reasonable demand, in the circumstances, that no publicly funded venue should be a platform for an unrepentant purveyor of racist tropes?
“If they refuse to do so, will you ask the arts council to urgently review the terms of its funding?”
Mark Drakeford replied that it “wasn’t as easy” as Cardiff Council cancelling the performance.
“The views attributed to the individual are absolutely unacceptable and would be condemned by anybody, I think, in this Chamber,” Mark Drakeford said.
“We spoke only last week about our concerns for Gypsy/Traveller communities, and we discussed those at some length in the policing board for Wales, which my colleague Jane Hutt and I attended.
“If it were as simple as issuing an edict and putting things right, then of course we would be able to do that, but I know from what I have heard from Cardiff Council that it simply isn’t as easy as that.
“The views expressed are abhorrent to my colleagues in Cardiff Council, as they are to all of us here, and I’m sure that those sentiments will be powerfully conveyed.”
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