Jeremy Clarkson has defended Jimmy Carr's 'truly disturbing' joke about the number of travellers that were killed during the Holocaust.
The stand-up comic told a live audience how people 'never mention the thousands of gypsies that were killed by the Nazis,' because 'no one wants to talk about the positives'.
After watching His Dark Materials, which was streamed on Netflix on Christmas Day last year, viewers have since signed petitions to have the content removed and members of the travelling community have shared their 'disgust'.
And now, Jeremy Clarkson has weighed in on the debate and said that if you're a comedian in a comedy club, 'you should be allowed to say whatever you want'.
In his column for The Times, Clarkson, 61, said: "Of course, if you are a Gypsy you may not find the much-talked-about Netflix joke about Gypsies funny. But so what? It was a joke, not a call to arms."
He went on to add: "Jokes have been made about Madeleine McCann and Terry Waite and the baby Jesus and Rose West, and every single one of them would have been upsetting to some people. But, again, they were jokes. Not hand grenades."
Later in the column, he explained that people need to use their 'common sense' and asked: "Are we now so stupid that we can’t see a difference between someone with a swastika tattooed on their forehead, in the basement of an East End pub, barking far-right propaganda at half a dozen skinheads, and someone on stage in Southend-on-Sea trying to make people laugh?"
He then continued: "If you’re whipping up a bunch of lefties to go and throw Jews in the river, you’re not trying to be funny, so you have to go to jail. If you are appearing in a comedy club and you’re billed as a comedian and the audience is laughing, then you should be allowed to say whatever you want."
Speaking specifically about Jimmy, he went on: "In a theatre Jimmy Carr knows his audience. He knows what he can and cannot say, and as a result he gets a lot of laughs.
"But if you read the words he said in a newspaper the next day, without context or atmosphere, it’ll come across as wicked and disgusting. And that’s when the joke police will pounce."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@jeremyclarkson1
Topics: Jimmy Carr, Jeremy Clarkson, Celebrity