Maybe you have seen the 5 series of ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’, hosted by Channel 4, or maybe you have heard stories about it, and one thing is for sure, the gypsies are represented as being violent, uneducated, and vulgar.
Jake Bowers, one of the only 3 gypsy journalists in Britain, talks about how the gypsy community has been misrepresented, and how the show was just a propaganda, in order to achieve high ratings. “They’ve turned us into trailer-trash Flintstones”, says Jack, deeply offended.
After listening to him talking about how Channel 4 tried to use him, in this outrageous scheme to earn more viewers, I immediately thought of the millions of people who actually saw the series, and their reaction towards Travelers and Gypsies. The problem is that this TV show, not only lied about the life of this culture, but they made things worse for them. They were seen as having a ‘negative influence’ upon the country, just because they didn’t followed the same ‘socially accepted’ rules. After Channel 4 broadcasted ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’, things went even worse.
Besides from the signs at the entrance of stores and restaurants, saying ‘We don’t serve Gypsies’ or ‘Gypsies, keep away!’, people started to shout mean things at them. Jack Bowers confessed that even his daughters were called ‘whores’. How inhumane is that? How can we shout those words to anyone, when we’re not even close to perfection, when we have our own mistakes, when we don’t even know anything about gypsies?
“The program has been horrible for the gypsies”, says Jake. And he is so right. The gypsies are stereotyped as being dirty, violent and as living as the people used to live many years ago, in complete ignorance.
“This program doesn’t say much about my community, but it says much about yours!” (Jake Bowers) is a remark that should be taken into account by every single person that judged a gypsy, a remark that should be printed out and posted on every wall, not only as a defense against Travelers, but also as a general rule against JUDGING PEOPLE.
I would like to thank Jake Bowers for coming in Coventry, and for speaking on behalf of every gypsy in Britain, but mostly, for defending the things he believes in, this being a lesson for everyone! Stop taking things for granted, and do a bit of research, before believing everything you see on TV, and before you start throwing words!
And I would like to say a few words to the ones who represent Channel 4: There are so many people out there, in search of answers, people to whom you own your existence, and you dare to lie to their faces, and more than that, you dare to destroy a culture, and the people behind it, for your own benefits? You should be the ones who are ashamed, not the gypsies…