RSG's statement regarding Netflix's reaction to Jimmy Carr's 'joke' on Gypsy/Roma victims of the Holocaust
The pre-World War II European Roma population is estimated to be up to 1.5 million.
However, under the Nazi occupation, it is believed that up to 500.000 Roma people were murdered . Today, across Europe, the Roma communities represent at least 10 million, mostly living in EU countries .
According to a 2019 Pew Research study, 23% of people in the UK hold unfavourable views on Roma . And British secondary school pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the fate of the Roma and Sinti under Nazism is severely limited across the majority of students .
Today Roma are still subject to widespread discrimination. According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 80% of Roma continue to live below the poverty line  and according to 2019 data only 18% of Roma children progress to higher levels of education .
On the 25th of December 2021, the online video streaming service Netflix released the programme Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material .
During this programme Carr said: ‘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. No one ever wants to talk about that, because no one ever wants to talk about the positives.’
In February 2022, the programme came to the attention of people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, national politicians, and government leaders.
At the time, the Culture Secretary condemned Netflix over Carr’s comments, urging Netflix to remove His Dark Material immediately, and suggested that legislation should be changed to regulate media content and ‘hold Netflix to account’.
On the 8th of February 2022, Roma Support Group wrote to Netflix  condemning the programme and asking for a meeting aiming to engage in a positive dialogue.
On the 9th of February 2022, over 120 MPs signed a letter  asking Netflix to remove the “joke” from the programme.
The Roma Support Group met Netflix representatives in February 2022. The Roma Support Group started this dialogue in a spirit of openness and collaboration but asked for a public apology and a removal of the Carr's "joke" from the programme. During these discussions Netflix refused to apologize, edit or remove the programme from their platform. Furthermore, Netflix did not convince us that they have the right processes in place to ensure their programmes are not built on and likely to increase existing stereotype and prejudice against Roma communities through platforming speech that targets discriminated against communities and has a corrosive effect on the wellbeing of
As the UK commemorates victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, we want to draw public attention to the fact that Netflix still streams a programme that makes a mockery of this memory. Moreover, it chose to refuse to publicly acknowledge the hurt caused. This only exposes their ignorance to the suffering of the Roma victims of the Holocaust and their families, and it enables negative stereotypes and prejudice against Roma people to perpetuate further.
We urge the British public to write to Netflix and inform them that as a society we can no longer ignore the suffering of hundreds of thousands of victims of the Holocaust and that they should do everything in their power to discourage ridicule of one of the biggest tragedies in human history.
We also call for the UK Government to enhance its effort to enable regulations to ensure that harmful content does not reach the online environment.
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