Netflix drops Aussie comic over gas chamber joke
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Netflix drops Aussie comic over gas chamber joke

Isaac Butterfield walks back apology, accuses media of ‘an all-out assault on me’ and defends his right to free speech

Australian comedian Isaac Butterfield, seen in a  YouTube video he posted April 24, 2019. (YouTube screenshot )
Australian comedian Isaac Butterfield, seen in a YouTube video he posted April 24, 2019. (YouTube screenshot )

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 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 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.

Butterfield has nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube.

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