Comedy is often an acquired taste, especially when it comes to particular comedians or genders of comedy. Comedy is meant to be just that – comedy! It’s a bit of fun, maybe some cheap laughs or rude jokes. Often, rude and offensive jokes can be very funny and appreciated by all, even those who it is making fun of. So, where’s the line? No one knows exactly when a joke is going too far but for some, Jimmy Carr crossed a line. For others though, it’s still a harmless joke. Who’s right?
Little People UK, who was co-founded by actor and TV presenter Warwick Davis, has criticised Jimmy Carr for telling an “offensive” joke about dwarfism and abortion during his current stand-up tour. The charity said that it was deeply saddened by the comedian’s remarks and that it had been contacted by members of the dwarfism community who had raised concerns about it. Carr’s next appearance in his Terribly Funny stand-up tour is on Friday in Chesterfield. The 46-year-old comedian reportedly said: “Is a dwarf an abortion that made it?”. This remark didn’t go down well with the dwarfism community or the charity.
Since the joke was made, there has been significant backlash by a large number of people. In an interview, the charity said that they have approached Jimmy Carr who has been made aware of the situation and have called for him to reconsider using people with dwarfism as the subject of jokes. They went on to say that having to deal with such prejudice towards the dwarfism community, as well as other minority groups, in 2019 is extremely saddening. This is a time where everyone strives to live equal lives and celebrate diversity without fear of humiliation or preconception.
Comments such as this are offensive to people with dwarfism and are incredibly detrimental to their well-being. Any person with dwarfism wants to just live their life, like any other person. This involves going to school, shopping, and going to work – often in highly respected professions. The charity and members of the public are clearly disappointed that they have been made the butt of the joke by Carr and want something to be done about it. Little People UK have said that if a member of the public were to repeat such a thing, whether it was as a joke or not, it would not only be highly offensive, but would also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in people with dwarfism.
The charity continues to urge people to understand and realise what it could do to people. Any couple could have a child with dwarfism, even if neither of them have the genetic condition themselves – they could still be carrying the genes. As new parents, hearing someone repeat that could have long lasting negative effects that no new parents should have to go through. Carr is yet to respond to these criticisms and ideas. His representatives have been contacted for a response, yet they have not replied. It is still unclear whether or not Carr will continue to use such offensive jokes on the rest of his tour.