While in the USA last year and channel surfing I happened upon a TLC show called "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding". It is an import from Great Britain. I was appalled at what I saw and knew this was not a representation of the Romany I know. As Ralph and I met with friends and partners we were asked again and again about the show. Each time I would explain the Romany we call friends are in no way like any part of the show. I asked people to please NOT view it and to write to TLC asking them to take it off.
I am sharing with you a letter written by a young Romany man who openly disputes the depiction of Romany on the show. Please join me in boycotting the show and writing TLC requesting it be taken off the air. Let's take a stand for the Romany!
CBF Field Personnel
Ministry among the Romany
Romania and Hungary
"Dear Channel 4, I am writing to you with the hope that you will stop ruining my life. While your obsession with my ethnicity is flattering, it has become somewhat apparent to me that you might have gotten the wrong end of the stick. This is sort of awkward for me, because I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your documentary, ’Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’, is unfortunately a work of fiction. There is no need to be embarrassed, it can happen to the best of us, and thus I hope my letter will help you establish the facts, after all I’m sure you are passionate about fighting discrimination against ethnic minorities. Don’t be modest now, we know you are…right?
It surprised me to discover that 99% of Britain’s Gypsy and Traveller population are Irish. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am sure you have done lots and lots of research on this topic, but just 10% of the Gypsy and Traveller population are actually Irish Travellers. The majority, like myself, are in fact Romany, yet your ‘documentary’ seems to ignore our existence ..."- Romany person in the Open Letter of protest to Channel 4.