Paul Hollywood loves impeccable crumb structures, perfectly even bakes and also, for a special occasion, dressing like a Nazi.
On Sunday, the Sun published pictures of the Great British Bake Off judge posing in an SS uniform—swastika armband included—with a similarly dressed friend at a Kent pub.
Here’s Hollywood’s apologetic explanation:
“I am absolutely devastated if this caused offence to anyone. The picture was taken 14 years ago en route to a comedy TV shows themed New Year’s Eve party and a group of us dressed up as characters from the classic TV show ‘Allo ‘Allo! Everyone who knows me knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against the Nazis during the war.”
My guess is that Hollywood is genuinely horrified to be associated with Nazis in any way, but he definitely should have known better. It’s kind of bizarre to peddle the line that this picture was taken 14 years ago, as if the early aughts were characterized by a more swinging policy on hating Nazis and he hadn’t been pushing forty at the time.
Luckily, the celebrity community commented on the fiasco in a totally tasteful and appropriate fashion. Here’s Ricky Gervais on the matter (the first picture, of course, from a very funny Extras sketch):
Then he seemed to think better of it.
Then he didn’t.
You know who gets to make bad Nazi jokes? People not making them in defense of other bad Nazi jokes. Because two bad Nazi jokes do not make a right…well…you know what I mean.