No Laughing Matter, Jimmy Carr Destroys Art

Jimmy Carr Destroys Art. Photo: C4.

Great Britain’s Channel 4 announced it will premier a new television show in late Oct. 2022 called Art Trouble. Before airing, the show’s title was revised to Jimmy Carr Destroys Art.

The entertainment show will let its audience decide which artwork from a “problematic” artist like Pablo Picasso or Adolf Hitler will be destroyed by comedian Jimmy Carr, the host of the show.

Hey, wait a minute…

Hitler was not known for his paintings, but for carrying out a holocaust that killed six millions Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, and Poles. What nitwit at Channel 4 decided Pablo Picasso was a “controversial” artist akin to Adolf Hitler? How is Picasso in any way comparable to Hitler?

Channel 4 purchased artworks to be destroyed. Reports are they have a ceramic by Picasso, and a painting by Hitler (prices unknown). In 2014 Newsweek reported that a watercolor by Hitler sold for $161,000. In 2015 Artnet reported that a group of 14 artworks by Hitler sold for $450,000. People in the UK going without food and freezing this coming winter doesn’t seem to have affected Channel 4’s plans for its rather expensive spectacle of destruction.

C4 says their TV show is “a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of the limits of free expression in art.” Bollocks. After a televised “debate” between pro and con “experts” regarding the character of the artist, the audience gets to decide which artworks will be destroyed by Carr. A variety of tools will assist the host in pulverizing the art, including a wood chipper, hammer, and a flamethrower. Sounds pretty thoughtful.

While Jimmy Carr Destroys Art sounds like a bad science fiction flick, C4 assures it is uplifting entertainment. Picasso’s art will not only be judged against Hitler’s, but also to artworks created by Rolf Harris and Eric Gill. Harris is a disgraced Australian entertainer found guilty of sexually assaulting four underage girls, and Gill is a deceased British artist who sexually abused his daughters and, ahem… the family dog. Yes, it’s all quite “nuanced.”

Channel 4 Television Corporation was created in 1982 by an Act of Parliament, it’s a “publicly owned not-for-profit” company. In other words the government owns C4. Unlike the BBC, it receives no public funding and is sustained by its own commercial activities. Created to produce “alternative” programs to the mainstream shows produced by the BBC, some Brits say C4 “serves the public good.” I suppose Art Trouble is one such example.

Nevertheless, the UK government has decided to sell the station by 2024 for at least £1billion, or $1,108,499,977.83 (USD). The privatization will more than likely put C4 in the hands of streaming behemoths like Netflix, Amazon, or Disney Plus. From the frying pan into the fire.

But before the Rat Empire sinks its teeth into Channel 4, we’ll have the broadcasted spectacle of Picasso being pilloried. That will open the door to other name artists being flayed and gibbeted… and won’t that be a thoughtful and nuanced delight.

[ UPDATE: On Oct. 21, 2022, Channel 4 broadcast Transgender singer Jordan Gray on its live 40th anniversary show. While playing keyboard and singing an expletive-filled song, Gray stripped naked and played the keyboard with her *****. “Thoughtful and nuanced” programing from C4. ]

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