Channel 4 — a British broadcaster— has purchased a painting by Adolf Hitler and will leave it up to a studio audience to determine whether or not the painting is destroyed, according to CNN.

The premise: The show, hosted by Jimmy Carr, has had a recent theme of purchasing artwork from “problematic” artists.

  • “There are advocates for each piece of art,” Ian Katz, a spokesperson for Channel 4 told The Guardian. “So you’ve got an advocate for Hitler. 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.”
  • If the audience decides to destroy the painting, it will be shredded.

The ethics: The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust argues that the show is making Hitler’s crimes, a serious and dark topic, the subject of lighthearted entertainment.

  • “There is nothing entertaining or laughable about Hitler or the murder of 6 million Jews, and the persecution of millions more,” said Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the trust said to CNN. “This is deeply inappropriate, and at a time of increasing Holocaust distortion, dangerously trivializing.”
  • “The question of how far art can be linked to its creators is an important one, but this program is simply a stunt for shock value,” Marks-Woldman added.

Channel 4’s response: Channel 4 defended the show in a statement to CNN. It said the program “speaks directly to the current debate around cancel culture and is in a long tradition of Channel 4 programming.”

  • Channel 4’s website backs up this sentiment, stating that the purpose of its channel is to “test boundaries and challenge conventions.”