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.
PLEASE SEE THE END OF THIS ARTICLE FOR INFORMATION ON THE ADVERTISERS OF THIS SHOW. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS, PLEASE WRITE TO THESE ADVERTISERS AND TELL THEM WHY YOU FEEL IT IS WRONG TO SUPPORT THIS SHOW!
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.
From Mario Williams
"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.
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:
Volkswagen Group of America Corporate Office | Headquarters
2200 Ferdinand Porshe Drive Herndon, VA 20171
The Walt Disney Company/Pixar Productions
Contacts Zenia Mucha
John James Nicoletti
The Walt Studios
Post Foods, LLC
Attention: Consumer Services Post Foods, LLC
Allstate Insurance Company
Mailing address: One GEICO Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20076
Network: Discovery/TLC Discovery Networks U.S.
President Advertising Sales
John Barry Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - TLC
Scott Felenstein Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - & Science Channel
Harold Morgenstern Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - Investigation Discovery,
, & Digital Media
Sharon O'Sullivan Senior Vice President
Advertising Sales - Animal Planet
Evan Sternschein Executive Vice President
Advertising Sales Discovery Communications
Scott Kohn Vice President
Advertising Sales, Midwest Region
Fred Norris Vice President
Advertising Sales, Southeast Region
Joe Paglino Vice President
Advertising Sales, East Central Region
National Advertising Sales - West Coast Region