Britain’s Channel 4 has bought a Hitler painting. A studio audience will vote to destroy it

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Written by Christian Edwards, CNNLondon

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has received scathing reviews over plans for a new show that will let a studio audience decide whether or not to destroy a Adolf Hitler painting.
The chain has bought works by a range of “problematic” artists, including, according to British media, Pablo Picassoconvicted pedophile Rolf Harris and sex offender Eric Gill.

Jimmy Carr, the show’s host, will chair a debate on whether a work of art can ever truly be separated from its creator. At the end, the public will vote on whether Carr should destroy the artwork.

If the public decides to destroy Hitler’s painting, it will be shredded, a Channel 4 spokesperson told CNN.

“Jimmy Carr Destroys Art” is set to air on October 24. Credit: Rob Parfitt/Channel 4

However, other artworks in the exhibit “could be set on fire by a flamethrower,” the spokesperson said.

But announced plans for “Jimmy Carr Destroys Art” – due to air on October 24 – have drawn heavy criticism.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust accused the show of “making Hitler a subject of light entertainment”.

“There is nothing entertaining or laughable about Hitler or the murder of 6 million Jews and the persecution of millions more,” Olivia Marks-Woldman, the trust’s chief executive, said in a statement. communicated to CNN.

“It is deeply inappropriate, and in an age of increasing Holocaust distortion, dangerously trivialized,” she said.

In a statement to CNN, Channel 4 defended the show, calling it “a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of the limits of free expression in art, and whether the work of morally despicable artists is still worth seeing.” .

The Channel 4 spokesperson said the show “speaks directly to the current debate on cancel culture and follows a long tradition of Channel 4 programming”.

The public but commercially funded channel was founded 40 years ago to offer UK viewers a bold alternative to the two main channels, BBC and ITV.

In a vision statement on his website, he says his objective is to “test the limits and defy convention” – but Marks-Woldman said this “cannot excuse the trivialization of the horrors of Nazism”.

“The question of how closely art can relate to its creators is important, but this program is just love at first sight,” she said.

Carr’s choice as host was also controversial. Earlier this year he was convicted of making a roma joke people killed in the Holocaust.

“Choosing Jimmy Carr to present this episode is deliberately provocative and inflammatory given his history of using the murder of Roma and Sinti by the Nazis and their collaborators for comedic purposes,” Marks-Woldman said.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Jimmy Carr for comment.

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