This petition is to address The Learning Channel (TLC), as well as to the advertisers and sponsors of the show, "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" (and its UK counterpart "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding"), which are blatant smear/ridicule campaigns against all Romani ("Gypsy") people.
Romani have long suffered persecution, prejudice, discrimination, ridicule, even murder and ethnic cleansing for their cultural heritage and misunderstood traditions throughout history. Shows like "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" and "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" (UK version), not only shed Romani (and Irish Travelers) in a negative light, it openly ridicules a race of people so proud in their tradition and heritage.
Firecracker Productions and The Learning Channel (TLC) have found Romani people who are so outrageous in their living, in attempt to create sensationalism, high ratings, and high dollar figures; and in doing so, have disregarded that what is being portrayed as fact is actually inaccurate information.
The US version of the show has focused their entire season around one family; that alone cannot present an accurate portrayal of Romani (or Irish Travelers) as a whole.
TLC and Firecracker Productions, are obviously attempting to create "fact" in sensationalism and outrageousness, while disregarding the effect(s) that such deception are having on the Romani populace as a whole. TLC and Firecracker Productions have also created, in their misrepresentation(s), opinions based on deception among the general population to form false-opinions of the Romani people as a whole.
The family that is featured in the US version of the show are NOT living according to the Romani laws, and portraying them as the "stereotypical" Romani... or "Gypsy" is an outrage.
It is understood that TLC/Firecracker Productions paid these individuals to dress in certain ways, and act in certain manners - even going so far as to buy trailers and set them up as if this is where these individuals are living to give more "authentication" to the storyline.
Even more outrageous, one of the girls portrayed in the show "Mellie" is/was a stripper and is shown in the show performing lewd dance moves in the middle of department stores (among other places), then explains such moves as if this is "typical" Romani dance. It is not.
Romani people have, for years, attempted to keep their lives, their identities secret for the very reason that they have been persecuted and discriminated against. They have fought against stereotypical identification assignment, and in many countries of the world, they are still treated in such deplorable ways that are human rights violations, but yet no international government agency steps in to offer protection or aid to them, simply because of the stereotype "Gypsy".
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (and British version), further harms Romani by the portrayal of ridiculous and outrageous behavior, dress, and deception.
While we understand that you create your shows, and gain sponsorship ad placement spots, based on show ratings, the premise of the network "The Learning Channel" has become tainted to such a degree with this outrageous propaganda of lies. In this instance, the "learning" channel is promoting lies and sensationalism, as well as racism, racial profiling, and further promoting the negative effects which Romani have tried hard to rise above for generations.
We, the undersigned, petition The Learning Channel to cancel all future programming of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and any and all shows depicting Romani people in a negative light which are in consideration spin-off from the original show(s).
We, the undersigned, also petition all sponsors/advertisers to withdraw their relationship(s) with The Learning Channel until they remove all biased, deceptive, and racist programming which propagates the persecution, discrimination, ridicule, and stereotyping of a race of people based solely on the actions of one family group.
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