YouTube removed a video comedy podcast in which Roseanne Barr — attempting to make a sarcastic point about internet platforms enforcing disinformation policies — made extremely offensive comments about the Holocaust.
YouTube determined that the video with Barr, shared on comedian Theo Von’s channel, violated its policies prohibiting hate speech. As a result, his channel is barred from uploading videos for a one-week period; under YouTube’s three-strikes system, if Von’s channel runs afoul of YouTube policies again in the next 90 days it will be blocked for two weeks and in the instance of a third violation the channel will be terminated.
On the June 14 episode of Von’s “This Weekend” show, Barr discussed how online platforms like YouTube have “de-platformed” people who spread lies. As an example, Barr said, “the real truth” was that President Biden won the 2020 election and said she was glad such policies were in place to remove content posted by election deniers. (Actually, YouTube earlier this month reversed its policy prohibiting misinformation about the 2020 election.)
“There’s such a thing as the truth and facts, and we have to stick to them,” Barr told Von. Then, she continued in a bewildering attempt to make a joke, “And nobody died in the Holocaust, either, that’s the truth. It should happen — 6 million Jews should die right now, because they cause all the problems in the world. But it never happened.”
A few moments later, she said, “I’m all Jewish — 100%.” Also in the segment, she said, “People should be glad” that Jews “control” the entertainment industry, “Because if Jews were not controlling Hollywood, all you’d have was fuckin’ fishing shows.”
As of Friday (June 30), the video of Von’s “This Weekend” episode featuring Barr was no longer available on YouTube. A message on the site says, “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.”
In a statement provided to Variety, YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon said, “We issued a strike to Theo Von’s channel for violating our hate speech policy, which prohibits content promoting violence against individuals or groups based on attributes such as race or religion. As a result of this strike, the channel is prohibited from uploading content to YouTube for one week.”
As of this writing, the episode of “This Past Weekend” with Barr remains available on other platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Von, in a tweet Tuesday responding to a backlash over Barr’s Holocaust jokes, wrote, “This Roseanne Barr clip was sarcasm folks. A clip taken out of a long sarcastic rant she had during our chat. Can we not recognize sarcasm anymore?”