Jimmy Carr Destroys Art has been met with a cacophony of backlash following its Channel 4 debut on Tuesday night, with viewers branding it the ‘dregs’ of television ideas.
The new art special, which began with a trigger warning after being blasted for featuring artwork by Adolf Hitler, saw the presenter host a ‘unique TV experiment’ where audiences choose whether to cancel controversial artists and offensive pieces.
Among the works of art being debated were those by Rolf Harris, Eric Gill, and Hitler.
During the episode, two experts each defended a controversial painting before the studio audience voted on which one to save, with the other being set on fire. It culminated with an artwork by convicted sex offender Harris being saved.
Viewers scolded the programme on social media with many taking offense to the concept itself.
Giving their scathing review, one blasted: ‘I’ve seen some crappy art shows in my time – but Jimmy Carr Destroys Art really is the dregs. What kind of moronic mind commissioned this?
‘The sheer obviousness of its desire to stir controversy is what’s really offensive here. Pathetic!’
Writing in agreement, another said: ‘The Jimmy Carr destroys art show is firmly one of the most vacuous, pathetic shows ever commissioned on TV.
‘”Nuanced debate” it claims is utterly undermined by destruction. Surely if worth debating then worth preserving. An all time low for @channel4.’
‘Jimmy Carr Destroys Art…. We really are down to the dregs of ideas for TV aren’t we,’ a third penned.
There were some, however, who argued the show was ‘thought provoking’.
‘Just happened upon Jimmy Carr Destroys Art, and it’s actually a very interesting and provocative programme in the best sense,’ said one viewer. ‘People discussing “cancel culture” and how society should respond to controversial artwork.’
Before the programme aired on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Channel 4 read out a trigger warning, advising that some viewers may find the contents ‘triggering and offensive.’
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust previously criticised the show before its debut saying there is ‘nothing entertaining or laughable about Hitler, the murder of six million Jews, and the persecution of millions more.’
Channel 4’s director of programming Ian Katz has already defended the show.
‘There are advocates for each piece of art,’ he said. ‘So you’ve got an advocate for Hitler.’
He continued to The Guardian: ‘There’ll be someone arguing not for Hitler, but for the fact that his moral character should not decide whether or not a piece of art exists or not.’
Jimmy Carr Destroys Art is available to stream on All4.