Australian comedian who joked about Nazi gas chambers loses ‘lucrative’ Netflix deal


(JTA) — Netflix has dropped an Australian comedian who made jokes about the Holocaust and insulted a Jewish audience member who later complained in an email.

Last month, Isaac Butterfield asked his audience at the Melbourne Comedy Festival to “imagine the joy of people when they heard the Jews were sent to the gas chambers,” the city’s Herald Sun newspaper reported. The email sent to Butterfield from a Jewish woman said the joke was “not remotely funny.”

He responded: “If you can’t stand the heat get out of the oven.”

In a video posted April 24 to YouTube, Butterfield said that the Herald Sun did not quote the joke correctly, though it did refer to Jews going to Auschwitz in 1942 and gassing people. He also said that days after he sent the email reply he sent a second email apologizing to the woman. He also pretended to apologize for his comments and then walked it back, accusing the mainstream media of “an all-out assault on me.” Butterfield also defended his right to free speech as part of the 16-minute video.

Butterfield has nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube.

Butterfield had what the London-based Daily Mail described as “a lucrative comedy special deal” with Netflix to air his comedy stand-up special “The Butterfield Effect.” But the video streaming company canceled the deal following the offensive riposte.

Recommended from JTA