Following its announcement that it had purchased an Adolf Hitler picture and would be asking a studio audience if comedian Jimmy Carr should use a flamethrower to burn it, Channel 4 has come under fire.
Works by a number of “difficult” artists, such as sexist Pablo Picasso, sexual abuser Eric Gill, and convicted paedophile Rolf Harris, were among the acquisitions it made for its new exhibition, Art Trouble.
According to the channel, the next program will consider whether a piece of art can be divorced from its creator before determining whether to burn it.
C4’s CEO assured that the channel, which celebrates 40 next month, would continue to honor a long legacy of “iconoclasm and irreverence.”
According to Ian Katz, the programming director for Channel 4, “there are supporters for every work of art.”
You now have a supporter of Hitler. Someone will make the case that Hitler’s moral character shouldn’t determine whether or not a work of art exists, rather than for Hitler.
If the studio audience choose to keep the Hitler artwork, he said, it would not hang in the broadcaster’s boardroom instead it would be disposed of “appropriately.”
According to journalist and anti-Semitism activist Jonathan Sacerdoti, the program is a “desperate scream for attention” and a “utterly nasty piece of entertainment television.”
Social media users also shared their surprise at the structure of the presentation.
Who was smoking what when they came up with this, wondered one confused Twitter user, who called it “truly scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
One person also questioned the decision of Channel 4 to “ever contemplate” hanging a photograph of Adolf Hitler in their boardroom.
Although there have long been questions about the authenticity of Hitler’s paintings, the channel apparently engaged an art expert to purchase the items “from respected auction houses.”
Due to financial limitations, a vase rather than a painting by Pablo Picasso may be destroyed.
Jimmy Carr, a stand-up comedian and 8 out of 10 Cats host, has recently been described as a “difficult” person.
In a remark he made in His Dark Material, his most recent Netflix stand-up special, he described the Holocaust’s killing of “thousands of gypsies” as a “good.”
Prior to this, he made mention to the 1997 Oscar-winning movie Life is Beautiful, which is about an Italian father and son who are condemned to a Nazi death camp, in his September 2021 novel Before & Laughter.
“How could they produce a Holocaust movie that was hilarious,” Carr questioned. Because that s*** occurred, obviously. And I believe making light of the Holocaust is OK.
A activist referred to the comments as “dehumanizing,” and then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson deemed them “inappropriate.”