The Guardian (may require registration) reports that the BBC has apologised for a Jimmy Carr joke about Gypsies. I’m astonished. I’ve written about Jimmy Carr before but since seeing him live my opinion of him has diminished. I have lost some of my earlier tolerance of his offensive style of humour and I find it amazing how popular he has become. I find it even more amazing, however, that the BBC has chosen to apologise over this joke. It seems bizarre to single out Gypsies (or any other group) as worthy of protection, while giving him air time to be offensive about other groups. It’s either funny to be rude or it isn’t. Until now, I thought the BBC had decided it was. Now I’m not so sure.
Full marks to Jimmy Carr, though, for failing to apologise – he’d have no act left if he suddenly had to be nice.