Saturday, June 11, 2011

Help support protest of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding - Boycott Advertisers

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding was billed as investigative journalism, an inside look at the highly private, secret world of gypsy and travelling communities in the UK. The aim, seemingly, was to increase awareness of the culture of gypsy and travelling societies, thereby bringing greater understanding to this much-maligned section of our community. But the result has Romani and Traveller communities outraged. And now the plan is to bring the show to the US.


A majority of the show is about Irish Travellers not Romani Gypsies. These are 2 entirely different communities and the program does not explain this. Many of the people protesting the show include well known Roma author and Teacher Dr. Ian Hancock, as well as other well known Roma activists, film makers and elders.

"When entertainment of any kind feeds the public's false stereotypical image of a particular ethnic, religious or racial group it only reinforces ignorance. Yale Strom, filmaker.

From Mario Williams

For hundreds of years Romani have suffered racism and prejudice because of the way we were stereotyped. A lot of hard work has went into changing people’s view of us around the world. This is being destroyed along with the reputations of our people. The Television Show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” promises a look into the “Gypsy” lifestyle. What they are really doing is showing a small group of Irish Travellers and then passing them off as “Gypsies”. There are many lies that are being peddled to the viewers as facts so that the show’s producers can make a buck. But they are doing it at OUR EXPENSE.

Do not participate in the negative portrayal of the Roma by participating in this documentary. These people are sharks who will use and abuse you and your family. They are soliciting our kids on Facebook already. They’ve contacted my daughter, my sisters and other members of my family. Chances are they are trying to contact your chavies too.

A show like this can make HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars per season and will expose the way that you live and how you do business. They would pay you what amounts to peanuts. We have read dozens of reports from other Travellers and Romani in the United Kingdom about how our children are now the subject of even more abuse and are being bullied because of the lies produced in this show. MORE HERE

Excerpt from a Letter from Katherine of Firecracker Films in response to Ronald Lee:

"There has been a lot of unfounded negativity towards our program. In fact the majority of the people that were featured - Romani, Rumnichel and Travelers were very happy with the show and have said that since its transmission it has actually been of benefit to them. They have also told us that the perception of them and their respective cultures from the outside world has improved and this has manifested itself on a national level as well as in their own day-to-day experiences."

"It transpires that a few influential people have been very vocal voicing criticisms and, on further investigation, sadly it seems part of the reason for this is to further their own competing projects. I find it particularly disappointing that this is the case as these cultures and communities should not be used as some kind of meat to scrap over and those claiming to be protecting them should not be using PR and spin to further their own projects. If people want to level criticism at us they should do so and we are happy to engage with them - however when it becomes evident that they are doing so publicly to suit their own agenda then that is not acceptable."

What can I do?

Sign this petition

Join this group and post your thoughts

Write the advertisers! These are the Advertisers of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Please write them and tell them it is wrong to support this racist program:

McDonalds 1-800-244-6227
2111 McDonald's Dr., Oak Brook, IL 60523

Volkswagen Group of America Corporate Office | Headquarters
2200 Ferdinand Porshe Drive Herndon, VA 20171

The Walt Disney Company/Pixar Productions
Contacts Zenia Mucha
Corporate Communications
(818) 560-5300

John James Nicoletti
The Walt Studios

Post Foods, LLC
800 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

Attention: Consumer Services Post Foods, LLC
Or call 1-800-431-POST

Allstate Insurance Company
Home offices: 2775 Sanders Road,
>Northbrook, IL 60062

5260 Western Avenue, Chevy Chase, Md. 20815
Mailing address: One GEICO Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20076

Network: Discovery/TLC Discovery Networks U.S.

Joseph Abruzzese
President Advertising Sales
Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5555

John Barry Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - TLC
Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5555

Scott Felenstein Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - Discovery Channel & Science Channel
Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5151

Harold Morgenstern Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - Investigation Discovery,
Military Channel, HD Theater & Digital Media
Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5128

Sharon O'Sullivan Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - Animal Planet
Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5208

Evan Sternschein Executive Vice President
Advertising Sales Discovery Communications
Ph: 212.548.5189

Scott Kohn Vice President
Advertising Sales, Midwest Region
Discovery Communications
Ph: 312.470.3402

Fred Norris Vice President
Advertising Sales, Southeast Region
Discovery Communications
Ph: 404.995.6639

Joe Paglino Vice President
Advertising Sales, East Central Region
Discovery Communications
Ph: 248.764.4400

Ben Price Senior Vice President
National Advertising Sales - West Coast Region
Discovery Communications
>Ph: 310.551.1611


Nobody's home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

OF course! Please do, we need to spread the word! Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

my family came here to escape the holocaust..i know that we r roma there r alot of gypsy's.but no one should say ant thing about others in till u know where u r from...

Anonymous said...

Hi 2 all am a gypsy.... Not all gypsy r bad..were just like anyone r yous saying your race is better then me or my family that r gypsys.... So your race is with sin....let them torw first stone..god made us.all am not better then n your not better then ever your race is yous dont do noting bad......look both ways ya u think ...gypsys do go 2 schools we just say were gypsys...the olny other race that konws what we have 2 deal with is the yous remaber you how the whites treated them....but the white man bring them from were they come from hello .....but do thik u have konw other race in u....konw 1 is 100% just u.s. Olny we all came from somewere other then the usa....your family come from not all gypsy r bad...becouse of peeps like u give us a bad name....2 were some gypsys cant even get jobs....n...thats all 4 now .....n if u dont like what I said o well......

Jordan said...

The fact that this is on "The LEARNING Channel", a subsidiary of "Discovery Network" is simply...saddening. These same people that brought us Shark Week and Steve Irwin and countless specials that inspired young children and adults alike...has now become an open forum for debasing minorities. Most of the people they show are not Rroma, and in the American variation they are not Travellers of any sort. This would be the same as making a show about NS-13 and calling it "traditional Mexican culture"; or calling KFC "classic African food". It's both wrong AND racist. The fact that they are adamantly opposing these protests rather than meeting in the middle (perhaps allow the show to stay on but with side-by-side comparisons or commentary from actual Rroma) they choose to attempt to defame people such as Ronald Lee and Ian Hancock--Two of the biggest activists in Rroma rights and education--which shows that they know they're in the wrong and would rather make a buck.

GD said...

There is also another petition against this show at this link:
Interestingly, I only realized that I didn't know much about Gypsy culture until I signed this petition--I guess you might say that the controversy made me want to learn more and eventually led me to this site. Now I'm truly curious about the reality behind the myths, so I guess this cloud has just a little bit of a silver lining.

Anonymous said...

My race has a working command of the English language and uses proper grammar when communicating...