However, comedian and Alma’s Not Normal star Sophie Willan has questioned her response, saying that “any small support of this is racist in my opinion”.
In the clip, the 8 Out of 10 Cats host says: “When people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about the tragedy and horror of six million Jewish lives being lost to the Nazi war machine. But they never mention the thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis.”
Carr then adds: “No one ever talks about that because no one wants to talk about the positives.”
However, Only Connect host Coren Mitchell jumped to Carr’s defence, calling him “a man full of goodness and kindness”.
She wrote on Twitter on Saturday (5 February): “While I’m here, might take a moment to mention I also love @JimmyCarr, a close friend who’s made about a thousand jokes I wouldn’t make myself, as a stage performer, but as a man is full of goodness and kindness. He’s a properly decent person.”
Her tweet was met with derision from her followers. Willian replied: “Not about that though is it. Who cares if he’s your mate. His rhetoric is gross and any small support of this is racist in my opinion.”
She added: ”Replace the word ‘gypsie’ with any other minority & would you tweet a ‘he’s still a good guy’ etc?! It’s more than a ‘joke’ it’s a mentality of racism. It’s saying that some peoples lives don’t matter & their genocide is funny. He doesn’t need saving. Allow him to be accountable.”
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Another critic of Carr’s joke included his “close friend” David Baddiel, who explained why he believed it to be “indefensible”.
Meanwhile, TV barrister and regular Good Morning Britain co-host Rob Rinder said that “the truly disturbing thing isn’t just the gag – it’s that on hearing it, instead of leaving, the audience clapped, whooped and cheered in approval”.
Carr is yet to comment on the controversy.