The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has blasted ’s plans to destroy a painting by Hitler in his new Channel 4 show.
The comedian – who was in his Netflix special His Dark Material, in which he described the deaths of thousands of Roma and Sinti people at the hands of the Nazis as ‘positive’ – is set to front Jimmy Carr Destroys Art with a .
The televised debate will consider whether Hitler’s art can be separated from its creator, and if the audience decide the two are linked then Carr will be allowed to shred the painting.
In response to the plans, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust CEO Olivia Marks-Woldman said: ‘There is nothing entertaining or laughable about Hitler or the murder of six million Jews, and the persecution of millions more.
‘This episode of the television series, Art Trouble, is making Hitler a topic of light entertainment – this is deeply inappropriate, and at a time of increasing Holocaust distortion, dangerously trivialising.
‘The question of how far art can be linked to its creators is an important one, but this programme is simply a stunt for shock value, and cannot excuse the trivialisation of the horrors of Nazism.
“Choosing Jimmy Carr to front this episode is deliberately provocative and inflammatory given his history of using the murder of Roma and Sinti people by the Nazis and their collaborators for comedic gain.’
A Channel 4 spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Jimmy Carr Destroys Art is a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of the limits of free expression in art, and whether work by morally despicable artists still deserves to be seen. It speaks directly to the current debate around cancel culture and is in a long tradition of Channel 4 programming.’
Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programming, has recently confirmed that if the audience did not want to save the painting, it would be ‘appropriately’ disposed of, with a Channel 4 spokesperson later adding to Metro.co.uk: ‘That artwork, should the audience decide, will be shredded.’
Explaining the show, Katz noted ‘there are advocates for each piece of art’, including for Hitler, telling The Guardian: ‘There’ll be someone arguing not for Hitler, but for the fact that his moral character should not decide whether or not a piece of art exists or not.’
He added that Channel 4 hired an expert to buy the art ‘from reputable auction houses’, as the show follows in Channel 4’s traditions of ‘iconoclasm and irreverence.’
Announced earlier this year, Art Trouble was described as ‘a profoundly provocative exploration of the limits of free expression in art’.
Channel 4 explained: ‘Combining stunts, surprises and special guests with a public experiment conducted by well-known artists across Britain, Art Trouble celebrates C4’s disruptive roots by exploring the boundary between controversial art and freedom of expression.
‘What we should do with historic art we find offensive or has been created by artists who are now cancelled?’