Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings has been accused of racism. The documentary series, which follows gypsy couples as they prepare to get married, has led to many members of the community feeling stigmatised after an advertising campaign for the second series was launched featuring members of the gypsy community and the words “Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier.”
The London Travellers Unit and two members of the London Assembly wrote to Channel 4 and lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority over the use of the word “gypsier”, likening it to other terms more widely accepted as racist and abusive.
“We wonder if Channel 4 would have been so ready to use adverts with similarly compromising phrases for other ethnic groups: ‘Jewisher’ or ‘more Asian’ or ‘Blacker’,” the unit said in a letter to Channel 4 executives.
Members of the Hackney Traveller community also commented, “These adverts are stigmatising us by the words and pictures they use. This programme is turning us into something that we are not”.
Channel 4 will have to be extremely careful if they want to rescue this situation.
Love Niamh x