/* var quicktagsL10n = {
quickLinks: "(Quick Links)",
wordLookup: "Enter a word to look up:",
dictionaryLookup: "Dictionary lookup",
lookup: "lookup",
closeAllOpenTags: "Close all open tags",
closeTags: "close

tags”,
enterURL: “Enter the URL”,
enterImageURL: “Enter the URL of the image”,
enterImageDescription: “Enter a description of the image”,
fullscreen: “fullscreen”,
toggleFullscreen: “Toggle fullscreen mode”
};
try{convertEntities(quicktagsL10n);}catch(e){};
/* ]]> */

edToolbar()

 

 

Click Here to Sign the Petition: http://www.causes.com/causes/666832-gypsies-suing-my-big-fat-gypsy-wedding?causes_ref=email&recruiter_id=177691684&template=cause_mailer%2Fcreation

For almost 1000 years Romanies have suffered slavery, genocide, racism and discrimination. Our people have somehow managed to survive against all odds. The Television Show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” promises a look into the “Gypsy” lifestyle. What they are really doing is highlighting the most ridiculous, most scandalous individuals they can find. Some of these characters have some connection to actual Romanies but most do not. There are many lies that are being peddled to the viewers as facts so that the show’s producers can make a buck.

One of the many lies shows a supposed “Gypsy” tradition called Grabbing, where boys basically assault young girls in order to steal a kiss. This is a fabrication of the show. Its insulting to Romanies and Irish Travellers alike that this show throws us into a pile with no respect to who we really are. We have been severely damaged by the way this show spins “Gypsies” into a Jerry Springer Show. Our people are being depicted as trailer trash, alcoholics and thieves which is causing even more hatred and more suspicion in the Romani and Traveller communities. Do not participate in the negative portrayal of Roma by participating in this mockumentary.

Take Action Now!

A potential class action lawsuit may be filed against the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding to show these greedy outfits that we’re not going to take this laying down. All Roma, Romanichals and Travellers need to join the fight by filling out this petition. Just click on the clipboard to be taken immediately to the petition. We appreciate your support!


Contact Info

If there’s anything else you need, feel free to contact us using the form below, and don’t forget to


We look forward to hearing from you!

edCanvas = document.getElementById(‘content’);

137 Responses

  1. Misti Mason :

    Mario,
    I think it’s great that you are standing up for your people. It’s about time that someone has stepped up to defend how our people have been treated throughout history. They have always betrayed us to be such an ignorant,lying, thieving race. Just because we make a choice to keep to ourselves and try to stay true to our beliefs we have been ridiculed. People are afraid of what they don’t understand and gadgos have never understood the romnis. My prayer is that gadgis come to see that we want the same things for our families as they do,… peace in our homes, our children to feel loved and wanted, and for God’s grace and love to be upon us always. May God bless you as you try to expose the truth about a race of people that time has tried to erase.

    • Kelly :

      From what I’ve come away with, it looks like Romanichal families want more for themselves than the rest of us. (American) You want secure family ties, you want to live according to your faith without harming people that disagree with you. Instead, what most Americans are concerned with is their lover of the moment, what’s on TV, and how they can step all over anyone that’s different from them.

      I’ve heard your ladies saying we Gorgers want to be you … the truth is, most of us aren’t capable of being Romanichal because we lack the faith, the strength, the knowledge of strong families being the backbone of a strong community and a source of comfort when the day’s done.

      • Petra :

        All groups in soicitey have their fair share of antisocial behaviour. There is anti-social behaviour from groups of gypsies and new Age Travellers . But, and it’s a bit but, there is plenty of that coming from settled society members too. I only have to look back to the rioting last year in London, Manchester and other places to see it. . I think that people who prefer the travelling life are badly treated in this country. There have been traveller’s sites that have been razed to the ground, and even under the grounds, turning it into a wasteland recently. Evictions cost millions of pounds. Gypsies were thrown out. Mostly, settled people see travellers and gypsies as drop-outs who sponge off society and leave their mess behind. There is sadly little live and let live attitude over this. With a bit of give and take, there should be little problems living side by side, I can’t see happening anytime soon. To me though, this appears a more appealing way of life than being stuck in a vastly expensive square brick box!!

      • Maxine :

        Well said, Kelly. All I see is a beautiful culture that is very much worth preserving.

    • Arpie :

      I just wanted to say, I have been watching random episodes here and there, and I do understand your concern. I am not a gypsy and have no ancestral ties to that nationality of people, however, I understand why you would worry that your people are depicted poorly. As for myself and family, watching the show, we don’t jump to conclusions and stereotype immediately or think “oh they’re all weird” not at all – in fact, it’s actually struck an interest with me and I’ve even researched the web a little on the history and roots of Gypsies, etc. I just wanted to shed a bit of positive light onto your dillemma and point out that while it might be a small thing, at least it would be bringing some more interest and wonder for your lifestyle and people? I think it’s very interesting, the various groups and roots and whatnot. It is very confusing at the same time as I struggle to understand, for example – an Italian is from Italy – done…there’s no confusing that – but the origins of Gypsies – did they have a country? Were they a small group of people that got taken over by Romans, thus the name Romanichal? All very interesting – in the end, just stay true to your family and beliefs and don’t worry about what others think too much – it’s your life, live it the way you want and can do best. =)

      • katie :

        Has nothing to do with Romans, their origins are believed to be India according to to linguistics.

  2. Mario :

    You can use this page as a forum to voice concerns and questions. If anyone wants to love or hate, have at it.
    I’ll answer all to the best of my ability openly and honestly.
    You should question my motives as well. You should question everything if it matters to you and your family.
    We are few but how strong are our hearts?
    People are going to put us on TV because there is big money in it.
    If this continues at the hand of others its going to keep getting uglier.
    Its going to effect how you work and how you live.
    I’m trying to make people understand that we need to own it. Control it. Not be the hired help.

    • Jennifer :

      I have watched this show, and have tried to find information about this lifestyle, I’m curious about this lifestyle.

      • mario :

        This is not a lifestyle. The show documents wannabes and low lives on the outskirts of Gypsy culture and implies that these mentally deficient pretenders represent the Romani (Gypsy) RACE.
        We are a race not a lifestyle.

        • Laurie :

          Cant you participate in the show in a positive way to show people how Gypsys live? I am Italian/American and look at what I have to fight against. My husband is from West Virginia and we all have heard stories about hillbillys. I am sure there are some postitive aspects of your culture that you would want people to see.Is there a producer you can get in touch with to pitch a show to him about the way Gypsys really live? The Real Housewives of Gypsys? I’m not trying to be mean it has real right in the title. I am interested in this culture.I would watch a REAL show about it. I am sure others would too. Good luck to you.

          • mario :

            I would be happy to act as a consultant but I doubt it would be trashy enough for TLC. Maybe it could work on a more educational network.

        • Holly :

          I’m just curious. I’ve always had this romantic notion of “gypsies” and travellers and the lifestyles they lead. If this show is incorrect, than can you please give me some references as to what sets your traditions and culture apart from the mainstream? I am inuit…nomadic, and maybe thats why “Travellers” intrigue me so much. Also, my Dad is white and American, so I’ve always had a foot in two worlds. Anyway, please let me know what makes Romani and Irish Travellers different in cultural aspects. And what are “Gorgers” where did the name come from? Is there a seperate Irish or european language used by travellers…like a “patwa”. I’m not here to exploit or want to leave my own culture, just so ready to appreciate other cultures to understand better. Thank you

        • JA :

          Sorry, but you are most certainly NOT a race. You are an ethnic group. If you’re going to fight for your people, especially in legal terms, then you need to get it right.

          • mario :

            I beg to differ.

            First lets differentiate between race and ethnicity:
            “an ethnic group can be a group of people sharing a common religion or national heritage or even a common cultural tradition. Race is not determined by belief or choice to belong to a group, but rather we are all born into our race. A race is a “local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.” (dictionary.com) I added the bold.

            So to be part of a race, you need to share common and unique genetics….

            “a new paper in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology has some results using 16 autosomal STRs (a group of highly variant markers) called A Genetic Historical Sketch of European Gypsies: The Perspective From Autosomal Markers:
            In this study, 123 unrelated Portuguese Gypsies were analyzed for 15 highly polymorphic autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs). Average gene diversity across the 15 markers was 76.7%, which is lower than that observed in the non-Gypsy Portuguese population. Subsets of STRs were used to perform comparisons with other Gypsy and corresponding host populations. Interestingly, diversity reduction in Gypsy groups compared to their non-Gypsy surrounding populations apparently varied according to an East-West gradient, which parallels their dispersion in Europe as well as a decrease in complexity of their internal structure. Analysis of genetic distances revealed that the average level of genetic differentiation between Gypsy groups was much larger than that observed between the corresponding non-Gypsy populations. The high rate of heterogeneity among Gypsies can be explained by strong genetic drift and limited intergroup gene flow. However, when genetic relationships were addressed through principal component analysis, all Gypsy populations clustered together and was clearly distinguished from other populations, a pattern that suggests their common origin. Concerning the putative ancestral genetic component, admixture analysis did not reveal strong Indian ancestry in the current Gypsy gene pools, in contrast to the high admixture estimates for either Europeans or Western Asians.

            Again, I added the bold.

        • Audrey :

          I just recently watched the show for the first time. I would have to say that it has made me want to know more about this culture as there are many gypsy families that have moved into our neighborhood. All we have ever heard about gypsies is that they are con artists and thieve and put curses on people. Until the world is better educated about this culture, sad to say but, the hatred will more than likely continue. You ARE right, it is ignorance! Good luck and God bless!

  3. Amazing work! This is the type of information that should be spread around the web. Shame on the search engines for not showing this page at the top!

  4. mario :

    (EDIT) This post was written before the current season aired.

    I’m nobody special, I just really get how serious this is.
    There is no reason to believe that we (much less I) can overcome this juggernaut.
    I’m operating on faith and desperation. I guess THAT is the “Gypsy” way.
    I’ve heard rumblings that various Romanichal and Kalderash are already dealing. I fear they have no idea of the outcome of that mockety union.
    These guy are powerful and smart. They will start with the beautiful and glamorous but will end up following the scum of our society. They will go there because that’s where the dirty laundry is.
    When this happens in front of the ravenous eyes of 10 million + viewers a WEEK, the ridiculous actions of just a few low lives will drag an entire race down. Way down.
    Nothing less than our kids and our livelihoods are at stake.
    Some in my own family are expressing concern to me that I should not do this or should not do that. They don’t understand: THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING!!
    It can’t be stopped. There is too much money involved. There is blood in the water.
    Our only hope is to OWN IT.
    Please help in any way you are able.

    Oh yeah, here is what we are dealing with:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/3434502/Simon-Cowell-makes-bid-for-Big-Fat-Gypsy-Weddings-in-America.html

    Simon Cowell. Nice guy I’m sure.

    • Brian :

      Yeah, Simon Cowell. Every time I run out of toilet paper, I suddenly think of Simon and a good use for him.

    • Kathryn :

      Hi,

      I am not Romanichal, nor traveller, I am what you would call a gadgo? I just wanted to give you a different perspective. I do watch these shows, mostly for the entertainment value. I am intelligent enough to not take a produced/edited “reality” show as being a true depiction of any given class or group of people. If anything, what I have learned is, as was said in one of the episodes, just because we dress like this, doesn’t mean we act without morals, Romi’s have the strictest of morals.” Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I do not have a negative perspective of your culture because of the shows, I really enjoy seeing all of the beautiful gowns (and the beautiful little girls receiving their First Holy Communion.” God Bless,
      Kathryn

      • Angela :

        I totally agree with everything you’ve said Kathryn. I live in a small city in Canada and knew nothing about Gypsies and/or Travellers before watching ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’. Watching the show has made me interested in learning more about the culture. I know what “reality” tv is therefore I realize that the people on the show are not representative of all Gypsies and Travellers but are the most wealthy, dramatic, extreme, Gypsies and Travellers because that is what makes good TV; (a prime time show about middle class, law abiding, tax paying, people that dress normally and are raising kids that behave and deal with every day issues would be boring). As far as the ‘grabbing’ discussed on the show I always understood it to be just rowdy teen boys trying to get girls to kiss them a party (which happens everywhere -when I was in high school boys would put there arm around a girl and pull her close to try and get a kiss and usually get pushed away or occasionally get a kiss) not a violent custom. As far as the over the top weddings and clothes I see them the same way I see the parties on the tv show ‘My Super Sweet 16′ fun to watch but not realistic for the majority of people. I do think it would be interesting to see some sort of realistic documentary about Gypsies and Travellers as well as the differences between UK Gypsies, American Gypsies, and Irish Travellers; especially the differences between the modern day customs of the different groups and mainstream society in the areas they live.

        • Shelly :

          I also watch the shows and while I realize that “reality” tv is not actually reality, I am very interested in the culture, the traditions and lifestyle of the gypsies. I’ve tried to do some online research but have found very little. I’d love to learn more! I actually think I may have had some contact with a small group of travelers some years ago while working at a motel. We had a rather large number of construction workers staying with us and a small, very close nit group brought their wives and children with them. They were quiet, the children well behaved, and insisted on cleaning their own rooms. I honestly love what I learned about the culture and hope to learn more!

      • Darlene :

        I just want to say I LOVE the show on TLC, I live in SC near Murphy’s Village and have always heard stories about the mansions and watered down paint and whatever but I’m just gonna say to my knowledge I do not know any gypsies but would soooo love to. The thing I get from the show is the Romnichals and how well those women clean, they make me want to do better, the men providing for their women…well my hubby does that I’m a stay at home Mom and he treats me like a Princess 99% of the time, I don’t agree with kids dropping out of school early, the women dressing sexy all blinged out for parties seems like a blast! I wish I had that confidence! I love that girls are virgins when married more families should press that as a culture and family value. Understanding TLC is only showing what’s being done with THOSE families that CHOOSE to show out for Americans to see. Fact is that IS a look at Gypsy life just not ALL Gypsies live that way just like not all Gypsies are up standing, not ALL black people are thugs or drug dealers BUT some are, not all Mexicans are illegal aliens but some are. Not all Indians own a convienant store but a lot do. It’s gonna be put out there things that are exadderated it’s up to intelligent people to realize there are no perfect people and we are ALL ONE RACE that race is called the HUMAN RACE, my skin is not white either I am tanned (thanks to tanning bed lol) but my blood has Irish, German and Blackfoot Indian in it but no matter what I am a human! I am sure some Gypsies party hard some don’t, some are crooks some are not… It’s all part of being the Human Race. I’d love to have some Romnichals come get my home back in order and clean and teach me those beliefs and values that I adore from the show… Ok off my soap box now! Romanys come visit me :) )

  5. Maria Trefil :

    The thing that truly scares me about that show is that so many Romani women, historically, have been assaulted by Gadje men who have fetishes for us. The wonton, Romani whore is an image that is as inaccurate as it is popular on a worldwide scale. The “grabbing” on that show creates the idea that, not only do Romani women expect to be treated with sexual violence by the opposite sex, but that we view it as a courtship rule. It gives the impression that we want sexual violence and that we enjoy it. As a result, I dread how many Romani girls might be assaulted SPECIFICALLY because Gadje get the idea from that show that we get off on being dragged off and thrown into vans for “love.” And the worst thing about that is, yes, such things are called “hate crimes” in the United States, but when has a hate crime where the victim was Roma ever been 1) called a hate crime or 2) prosecuted? My cousins, Romani lawyers, haven’t even heard of such a prosecution. Airing that show in America will cause such violence. America will not take responsibility for the violence it has caused.

  6. Morgan Ahern :

    I work with Lolo Diklo : Romani Against Racism in Seattle WA.
    Also curator at the Traveling Romani Museum and Education Project.
    If we can be of any help with the great work you are doing, please let me know.
    And visit the blog.
    http://www.lolodiklo.blogspot.com
    http://www.punkaheron@yahoo.com

    Baxtale
    Morgan

  7. Tamara Demetro :

    Hello Phrala Mario, My name is Tamara and I am Toma Stanley’s grand daughter of the Ministi Karldaras. I have signed your petition and have known Ian/Yanko via correspondence for over 20 years. My Papo Toma was the only official leader of the American Rromani and I believe if you ask the kucci kumpania of elder men, they will tell you about him and his legacy, as well as his life and work as a world war II captain, diplomat for the United States Government and world traveler as an advocate for the global community of the Rroma. This is all documented in the Smithsonian Institute. I am hoping that Yanko will also share my efforts as a sixth generation Karldarsa Tem/Nation, Miniesti/Kandezika Vista/tribal Rromni, born and raised within the American Rroma of thousands. My life and work led me to one of the last Rromani herbalist, college consultant, the only national Interpreter for the Karldaras Rromani, advocate and activist for our international and national Rromani. I would love to have an opportunity to speak with you and share what Ian I pray will tell you; is a very long dream in the making. At present I am involved with the National Karldaras community as well as live integrated in the alternative western culture simultaneously. I believe the information I have would be helpful to our people’s movement and voice. I pray the work you are doing will be shined upon by our one Creator let Devles, so that others may see the light within it. Yanko knows my phone and email address and you are welcome to contact me further if you so wish. God Bless you and your efforts.

  8. withheld :

    i think that the series of MY BIG,FAT GYPSY WEDDING is against us!
    The people on the show are reffs and trailer trash who want to pass off as gypsies……and it is a Mockery of how “we live and crap like that” I think what you are doing is awesome because our kids dont need to grow up with people being racist to them just because we ARE gypsies.

  9. maddie :

    sastipe mario,
    i am in england and i watched that series in horror then had to hear from gorgers i call friends talk about it and what a really good series it was that gave them an insight into how i lived, trying to explain that the programme was mainly pavee and not Romanichal just confused them, i could go into so many things i hated about it but basically it was just sensationalist fiction as far as i could see, for a start i do not know anyone that would let their chavvies dress like tarts , this is what hurts the most cos any Romanichal knows the chavvies come first and it looked to me like it was saying that they are taken out of school and are treated like slaves, there were so many other things i could write an essay, the petition is a bit offputting cos of all the legal stuff at the top i did not know what it meant properly maybe you could word it a bit differently to say what you mean by supporting legal cases etc, other than that its great that you are putting together a proper documentary its not our way to put it all out there but if we are gonna be portrayed we need control over what is portrayed, kushti bok,
    Opre Roma

    • mario :

      Hi Maddie, thanks for posting. Your right, we had to write the petition up real fancy because thats what makes it hold water.

      Let me say it here in plain English:

      Signing the petition means you are against the show and any other show that disrespects Romani. If we sue them and win, you get your equal share, whatever that may be.
      If we sue them and lose, you do nothing. You won’t be out anything. You won’t lose anything.
      Either way, your voice was heard. They don’t think we even have one.
      We need to get over being scared of everything.

  10. Witheld :

    I believe that the best and most honorable way to prove the way someone portrays you as wrong, is to simply live your life in a manner that SHOWS they are wrong. A minister once told me “Never defend yourself, the people who truly matter don’t need it and the others won’t believe it anyway!”. I have found this is true.
    The TLC network is a multi billion dollar network, owned and operated by rich and powerful individuals. No amount if signatures on a petition will alter their way of thinking, or their portrayal of anything or anyone. I can respect your passion for this cause, it’s admirable. But fruitless none the less.
    I have learned that in life, ita the people who say they are “classy” that really are not, the people who boast of riches are really hiding behind debt, people who claim fervently to be honest who are habitual liars, and so forth. You get the picture? So what I am saying, is if gypsies want the world to see them as honest, upright, intelligent people, then stop simply saying it and BE those things. I have read countless “gypsy” posts on various facebooks complaining that they are being portrayed as “ignorant” yet their entire post is full of poor English and ridiculous misspellings!
    I agree! Stand up for your heritage, but not just in your words or with a video camera ( which I personally think is shooting yourselves in the foot) but stand up and BE intelligent. SHOW the world through your works, not your words. That’s truly the best way.
    And keep in mind, Hollywood portrays MANY different things in a negative light. Jersey Shore is a show full of idiots, people with no morals, little intelligence and a total lack of self respect. “The Sopranos” is a show about murderers and thieves and liars. BUT do I lump all Italians into that category? Absolutely NOT!
    After watching “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” the only major difference I see is simply a CULTURAL difference. These people are from a different COUNTRY. Of course they speak differently or have different customs! Blacks here in America do not act, dress, speak, or have the same customs as blacks in Africa! It’s CULTURAL difference.
    As Gypsies in America the best way to counter this type of action is to live our lives in a way that proves “Hollywood” wrong. Live it, don’t scream it. And how can we now expect to have a “voice” when for years we didnt want anyone to ” to know what we was”….
    If you want the world to portray you as intelligent, then become intelligent. (and intelligence is NOT something that can be faked)
    Good luck to you all on this journey.
    God bless

  11. mario :

    Hi name withheld thanks for posting,

    You are a Firecracker Films troll and you are busted. You’re right, intelligence cannot be faked. You are doing a terrible job “faking it”.
    Some pointers: Stick to a single point of view. Switching between “us” and “you” within a single post gives away your real identity.

    I’m glad we are beginning to make you nervous. Multi-Billion dollar companies don’t like to be sued for libel, slander and RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. Plus its really bad for PR.
    Expect contact from the ACLU real soon.

    Also, we are not just signing names on lists. This is a plaintiff base for a class action lawsuit. Paper petitions are also being circulated to get to the greater majority of us who don’t use computers.

    Hate on my people all you want, many misspell on their profiles and comments because they are poorly educated- not stupid.

    Your fault is not in attempting to document “Gypsies”, that could be done responsibly. Your crime is presenting lies as fact in a manipulative and slanderous way in an attempt to maximize profit at the expense of the most oppressed ethnic minority in the modern world.

    Yes, we have tried to “hide” our voice in the past. This was necessary for SURVIAL. Hitler nearly exterminated European Roma. Being a Romani or associating with Romanies under Henry VIII was a crime punishable by death.
    This policy was in effect for over 250 years in England. Still we survived.
    Romanies were slaves in Romania up until the 1800′s.
    There are “Gypsy Task forces” profiling us in every major American city even as we speak. We are justified in our mistrust.

    But don’t worry, we won’t be silent much longer.
    Would you like to reply?

    -Mario

    • Prefer not list :

      First of all, I have no idea what all the fuss is, for the most part the show BFGW is how it is. These Irish travelers are a little back woods and do not have as much class as some, but not all of the American gypsies or let me say the ones in the US. I have never heard of such as the grabbing of the young girls. I will tell you this, the kids are pulled from school at an early age, unlike the show it is not for the girls to help out at home but for the parents who travel all over to work and vacation and for the boys to work.
      The girls do get married at young ages without any idea of what love is. It is sickening, these young minor children of god are more or less allowed to get married. Where are the morals, it is like statutory rape in most cases. These girls are getting married at 15, 16, 17 and etc…. What parent is putting there child out there at this age, most of these girls cannot read, spell, cook, drive or carry themselves to the doctor if they are pregnant. But these gypsies see nothing wrong with these kids having kids because they are “MARRIED” shame, shame on these parents. These gypsies go out every day to work doing paving, roofing, painting, sealing, fortune telling and etc… They are fakes, yes some may give you a good job but most do not, they get your money and laugh at you for being so stupid in their eyes. They all live very well, they can, they do not pay taxes and if they do it is not what they should be paying. They pretty much are the biggest cons that you will ever here of. Most of them are pavers. I have never understood how these parents can send their kids out to con people, mostly the elder, and think it’s okay. Most of them go to church every Sunday and act as if they are Christians, please, and the next minute after church they are spending the money that their families have went out and took from some poor, old unsuspecting person.
      They do dress their kids half naked, with make up, jewelry and heels at a very early age. They do raise their kids to think it is alright to go out and lie to get a job, so that they can carry designer purses and wear designer clothes and shoes. If they thought what they do is okay they would not have their own language that they use so that the poor souls the are ripping off will not know what they are saying or when they are making fun of them. It is disgusting….
      Why are the cops not getting more involved with these kids not going to school and getting married so young and for them stealing from the old…..WHY????????? I have a feeling soon the cops and the IRS will be getting involved more than ever. This documentary will help but the young generation is going to make sure of it, the phones and the computers are going to take care of it all and the young generation has no idea what they are in store for, they best save some of. That money they are stealing….I could go on but I have to get back to work, nothing illegal that’s for sure….

      • mario :

        Romanichals Wake Up! This is what people think of you!
        She (Mrs. Prefer not list) is making all of the points I didn’t want to speak out loud. If we don’t band together and stop these shows WE WILL BE SCREWED.
        They think none of us pay taxes.
        Well guess what, WE DO! Its 2011 and everyone has to pay taxes. There is no getting around it.
        They think we take our girls out of school at 15 to get married. I took my girl out of school and put her in home school to get her away from all the sex, drugs and partying that goes on in Guadja schools. If you really want to see the disgusting way to raise a child watch MTV’s Degrassi or 16 and pregnant.

        I could go on but the point is this: If we don’t do something now this is going to get way out of hand. You see how bad they hate us? How they think EVERY ONE of us is sinful, cheating, criminal, child abusers? People keep telling me that TLC is filming a new series in Spiro called Gypsyville. If you have anything to do with that I want to ask you a question. Do you have any say in what they are going to show?
        What are they going to pay you? $50,000? $100,000?, $200,000?
        I hope thats enough to sell out your people when CPS and IRS come down chasing ghosts and no one can knock a door anymore.

        • Not applicable :

          Let’s not point the finger of blame elsewhere in regards to 16 and pregnant. These shows are supposed to be educational tools to guide and shape our youth, not give them permission to do so themselves. Children should be in school until they are 18 years old. At this time they should be able to decide if they want a higher education. As parents, it is our responsibility to educate our children. And who are you to decide when enough is enough. 16 is still a child. Marrying your children off before they are old enougn to know who they are is cruel and awful. Especially when the standard of marriage is so high. The rest of your life is quite the commitment for a child to make.The lack of clothing on these children is giving them permission to accept these sterotypes placed on the community therefore creating a generation of those who live by and for such sterotypes. For a group that claims to have such strong values and morals, it sure appears to be a cover up for something that may not be legit.

          • mario :

            Thanks for replying Not Applicable,
            I’d like to agree to disagree.
            1) 16 and pregnant is not an educational program. It is an exploitative expose of people America stereotypes as “white trash”. It ridicules the teen mothers for the amusement of the general public. There is no social benefit.
            2) Most state laws require kids to be in school until they are 16. Not 18.
            Our kids can make up there own minds and they are fully allowed to do so. They almost ALWAYS choose to stay within the family and live among their parents and extended family until old age. Its a very close and good society to live and grow up in. We don’t have 401 k’s and retirement accounts. We spend money as fast as we can get it. We spend on our kids mostly. When we get old, we don’t need a nest egg, we are not put into rest homes. We are taken care of by our loving children as we have cared for them. (Contrary to public opinion we are GOOD for the ecomomy. We are consumers and spenders in every market. We don’t hoard money until death.)
            3)Who am I to decide when enough is enough? The father of my children. Who are YOU to decide for me? I don’t dictate what you should do…
            4)Regarding your comments: “Marrying your children off before they are old enougn to know who they are is cruel…”, “The lack of clothing on these children is giving them permission to accept these sterotypes…”.
            THESE ARE ETHNIC IRISH TRAVELERS YOU ARE WATCHING!! NOT ROMANIES/GYPSIES!!!
            THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. THIS IS MY POINT EXACTLY. SEE HOW YOU ARE HATING ME FOR HOW ANOTHER CULTURE BEHAVES. YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT US.
            THE IRRESPONSIBLE PRODUCERS AND NETWORKS HAVE DUPED YOU AND MILLIONS LIKE YOU.
            THEY ARE USING THE TERM “GYPSY” TO ATTRACT RATINGS BUT THEY ARE SHOWING IRISH TRAVELLERS. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. ROMANI GYPSIES ARE A RACE!
            Thats why we will sue.

            Finally,
            5)”For a group that claims to have such strong values and morals, it sure appears to be a cover up for something that may not be legit”.
            Whats that supposed to mean? Are you implying that an entire race of people are somehow part of a worldwide conspiracy to commit some terrible unknown crime?
            What the hell are you saying? We are secretly genetic criminals?
            Thats what Hitler said before he commenced to systematically exterminating 75% of the Romani population. But whatever, “you people are all alike”.

          • Not applicable :

            I would like to start by saying that I think you may be on the extreme defense in regards to my commentary. I do absolutely agree that the group the show depicts could very well be very uncommon among your culture as a whole. You have certainly made excellent points in response to my concerns and beliefs. I appreciate that. I may not agree with it all, so here we will, as you said, agree to disagree. As for my last statement, that was solely in regards to the clothing. I absolutely can appricate a strong moral sense and guidelines, but, for those who were cast on the show, I feel that its time to practice what they preach. In no way was that meant as an attack on your culture. I realize that your hostile response stems from frustration. I would like to ask you what it is you are aiming to achieve with this petition? Is it the show off the air? A change of name???

          • Not applicable :

            I’ve done some research on the history of Romanies. I truely do find it all very interesting. I was completely unaware of the persecution that your race suffers still. It makes me wonder why people are not aware of this constant genocide attempt. Perhaps this show is making people aware of what is still occuring in this world that we call civilized. It has opened a door that most people, I’m assuming, never knew existed. It also makes me wonder how the intolerance began? This I was unable to find.

        • Coco :

          I have been watching the show, and although I find it entertaining and interesting I know its not good for the people its portraying. I agree with u 100%. In this day and age of facebook where everyone wants to tell all there business all the time, it doesn’t seem like a dangerous thing to be on tv, but if ur part of a culture/ race that commonly persecuted and discriminated against, this will not make things better. Its really too bad, because I am so fascinated by your culture and traditions. Just because it entertains me doesn’t mean its good for you. Good luck with your endeavour to put a stop to this. God bless.

  12. Mario, I couldn’t agree more. TLC is exploiting all of us and it’s a shame some of them can’t see it. It’s not only us, I saw a show called toddlers and tiaras. Talk a about exploiting young girls. I saw some if them 5, 6 and 7 doing dances my girls would be grounded over. Don’t even mention heels and dressed half naked. These girls are ages from 4 to 7 and are MADE to wear clothes my girls aren’t even allowed to buy. They are pranced around in shows like animals for people to judge. And just look at the poor girls reaction when they don’t win. Little girls shouldn’t be subjected to such things at any age. They should never be judged. It really made me SICK. I guarantee you WON’T see ANY out cry to have this show stopped. WHY????? I feel so sorry for the person above that thinks all those things just because of some TV show. Where was Kaylee Anthonys family when she needed them? I know if one of our relation goes missing we don’t take 30 days let alone 30 minutes to figure out what happened to them. All I’m saying is there are bad apples in every bunch. This should not speak for the whole barrel. Including cops, politicians, public servants such as mayors, governors and even presidents. People that we hold in high regard and should have the utmost integrity have let us down with their actions. I’m not pointing any fingers but everyone is only human and are subject to error. I could go on and on and on about everything else this uneducated person said, but an intelligent person would have got my point already. Feel sorry that you have this OPINION “Prefer not to list” but you are seriously wrong. Apologize for any misspelled words or punctuation. I’m typing from my cellphone and hope anyone can read this good enough to get my point across.

    Also, I think we should start a petition to stop toddlers and tiaras. Maybe we can stop the exploitation of these young innocent girls and save them from a life of depression and low self esteem before it’s to late. I just hope we get to them before TLC does.

    God bless us all

  13. And don’t even get me started on designer this and that. The “trustworthy” people running America have us trillions of dollars in debt. Why is this? Maybe their living beyond their means a little and taking advantage??? I dare you to ask someone who they think is costing them more, government or romanichal??

    Signed, your worst nightmare, aka EDUCATED ROMANICHAL.

    We’re out there.

  14. nia gath :

    i would love to help your cause as i agree that this show has done a lot of damage to your people both in the states and in the u.k, where i live. the show caused outrage among the romany and traveller community when it was shown in britain, but i am not a romany or traveller myself and so was unsure if it would be appropriate for me to sign your petition…..if you would still like my signature despite my not being a traveller or romany, would you please let me know….and if my signature would be deemed inappropriate, and there is some other way i can help fight the bigotry being shown your people please let me know by e-mail. all people should are equal!! big love and good luck!x

    • mario :

      Thank you Nia.
      The only reason you can’t really sign this petition is because you don’t qualify LEGALLY to be a part of the “Class Action”
      Its like if we were suing a drug company but you were never prescribed the drug. It just doesn’t apply.
      SO, to include great people such as yourself we’ve created a separate petition where you can show your support. Please go to http://www.petitiononline.com/7178/petition.html.
      This is a petition for non-Romani to show support.
      We need more good people like you!
      -M

  15. jewel :

    that show is a joke.we dont live like that at all.

    • Not applicable :

      Clearly, there are people who do. Which is why this site exists. Perhaps you should be blaming those that depict your community as such, not the network.

      • mario :

        EDIT: This is an old post written at a time before Romanies were featured on the show.

        Dear Not Applicable,
        Yes there are people who do. There are also people who abuse children and kill people and wage war and kick puppies. Haven’t you been reading this page?
        This page exists because The show films Irish travellers and calls them Gypsies.
        This makes millions of people like you think we are them.
        Even after reading all of this which clearly explains there is a difference, you still don’t want to accept that.
        I wonder. Why does it bother you that we should take offense at being erroneously stereotyped? The way people act on this show is embarrassing.
        Would you lke it if they showed this crap and called it “Meet the Not Applicables”?

        • Not applicable :

          You certainly are very defensive, and I can assure you, this isn’t helping sway any opinion. I do want to point out that these people audition for these slots. And these are the people who call themselves Gypsies. The network has various shows documenting weddings. These people also audition. I feel that your anger may be directed towards the wrong party. Perhaps remembering the initial concept of the show, to document these weddings for the dresses, cakes, and receptions, may be something to consider. Let me ask you this, if the show were to approach you and ask to film your daily life, would you say yes?

          • mario :

            Yes I am defensive. First, I’m not trying to sway YOUR opinion. This single page website doesn’t really stand a chance in swaying the opinions of millions of people. It would be foolish to even attempt to win a PR war against a Network.
            The goal here is to educate and organize concerned members of the ROMANI community to establish a base class for a class action law suit. It’s also to let Romanies know that we are capable of producing our own film and using our own voice to AUTHENTICALLY show the world who we REALLY are. I really won’t repeat this again in response to any further comments. It’s been well stated above. As such, I’m speaking to us and no one else really. I’m not excluding non-Romanies out of ignorance; it’s just that, legally, no one else qualifies to participate in the court action.
            Second, people aren’t “Auditioning”. Firecracker is hounding people and soliciting them on Facebook and other social media. They had some initial success, but as people start to realize they are being ridiculed, this has been substantially shut down. Did you know that “Pat” the tough Irish Traveller from the show has said that he wished that he had never done the show. Did you know that his son was stabbed by other Irish Travellers who were offended and embarrassed by his participation?
            Before you shout back that the stabbing was done by “us” which further proves how low “some of us” can be, I will remind you again. Irish Travellers are not “Gypsies” and do not call themselves Gypsies. So the misconception promoted by this show continues to group ridiculous actions by the most ridiculous individuals of separate, DIFFERENT cultures and throwing them into a pile under the stigmatized stamp of “Gypsy”.
            I am Romanichal. That is Romani. A recognized ethnic group labeled “gypsy” by non-gypsies for nearly a thousand years.
            Let me put this in terms you may understand. The language I’m about to use is inappropriate and politically incorrect for good reason. What I’m about to say is in every way offensive but I’m forced to say it so that you might understand.
            Please excuse me, this does not represent my views, it is a description of what Firecracker Films and TLC/Discovery Network are doing:

            If this show was called “My Big Fat Nigger Wedding” and the producers followed a group of Mexican immigrants around as they had their Quinceañeras, wouldn’t you find it inappropriate?

            How long would that show last? Would you write to the NAACP and say,

            “Why are you so defensive? You know that some of those Blacks (actually Mexican immigrants but what’s the difference right?) really do wear skimpy clothes and what’s with all that booty shaking? I wouldn’t let my kids dance like that. And why do they take such offense just because we call them niggers? I hear them calling each other nigger all the time.”
            Do you understand this is EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US?
            Now you will probably blast me for using outrageous language and then further deny me the right to be outraged when I am discriminated against. You are ignorant of us because we are not readily visible like Blacks and Hispanics.
            Well I’m not trying to be your friend. I’m a militant “Gypsy”. Go troll a different website.

            P.S. They HAVE asked to film my family using Facebook messages to both my daughter and my sister. Never going to happen. Ever. I would let them work under my direction provided I had full control and complete final edit. That’s the only way they could ever get it right.

          • Paula AZ :

            Hey listen, non applicable, Mario has every right to be defensive about all your stuff and nonsense. I am not involved in any of these cultures, I have simply watched MBFGW and MBFAGW a few times. Enough to see how utterly rediculous these shows are. I too had no idea that “Gypsies” and Travelers” communities still exist, in fact, I have a hard time believing any of the things tv shows portray. Yes, I am sure the culture still survives, however, have you taken into consideration how every culture is constrewed by outsiders as so very different from reality? Let’s look at the fact that, let’s say, Mexicans here in the western states are all seen as “wet backs”. This is further from the truth than Joe Arpaio depicts! I have lived here for eleven years and here in AZ anyone of Mexican descent is pitted at a low life. And how wrongfully so. I grew up in Northern CA where everybody is equal. I never stopped to think if you were white, mexican, black, chinese or alien from another planet. There are people of every color, race and color who would rather dress and behave undesirably without restriction of financial status. Hell I’ve had foster kids who’ve come from well-to-do families but they’d rather be on the streets stealing and gang-banging. There are bad and good people in every race and culture. I was raised very strict Roman Catholic but when I made my first Communion I wore the same white simple dress that my sisters had worn before me while other girls in my class wore (practically) BRIDAL GOWNS. And we were all from the same neighborhood, church and school. I also grew up in a family of ten children and lots of people sterotyped us as unclean and wild. Maybe they once knew a large family that was that way… doesn’t mean all large families are. We had a well kept, clean house and we were all very well behaved. No maids, no money, just us, a happy LARGE family. That’s the way we were. And as we saw it, that’s the way is was supposed to be… because that’s the way we were taught.
            My point is, there are “bad sheep” in every culture and walk of life. That doesn’t mean that if the Mexican or African American or Asian or Romany or avereage Caucasian teenage girl next door was scantily clad and got married at sixteen that every sixteen year old of her race, family or religion did the same. So why the hell should we make a tv show of her showing that it’s ok to think of teenagers that way? Is EVERY YOUNG WOMAN in New Jersey Snooki???? Do YOU think everyone in NJ is Snooki just because you watched the show once??? So how can you possibly think it’s OK to let the world think that MBFGW is “average” for all people of Romany descent?

        • Not applicable :

          Not understanding makes us ignorant. I find your race fascinating. Make me understand why I should sign your petition and not consider this show as something more disturbing as the Real Housewives of where ever. All of these shows serve no purpose, yet people watch them regularly and do not sue for false generalizations. How is this show any different?

          • mario :

            First of all, I can’t even make you understand that you don’t qualify legally to sign the petition.
            Am I Frustrated? A little.
            Look, If you go back and carefully read all of the above, one of the following three results must apply:
            1) You have a hidden agenda and do not want to know the facts.
            2) You are incapable of rational understanding.
            3) You will understand and agree that the show is wrong to the point of being outright racist, slanderous and harmful to a recognized ethnic group. People have been stabbed because of this show. Young girls have been assualted because of this show. Hell, young girls have been assualted ON this show. AND A “GYPSY” DIDN’T DO IT.

            I really hope it is number 3.

            -Mario

  16. Maryanne :

    Mario, I am a non-traveller/gypsy and am watching this dreaded show right now. I, as a woman, am horrified that they would portray this “grabbing” as something socially acceptable in any culture. I was so outraged by the sexual assault that the show sensationalizes (and then refuses to go into the explanation of it by simply saying that Irish Traveller society is a “secretive” society) that I had to begin an internet search on it. Thus, I found this petition.

    I am just horrified at the possible violence Romani women and girls face by men who may now think that it’s okay to grab them and force themselves on these women. I’m disgusted that your culture is being portrayed as one that’s rife with brutish and sexually offensive traditions.

    Now I’m off to write on TLC’s website to express my absolute disgust and fury at their irresponsibility in airing this.

    • mario :

      Thank you so much Maryanne.
      If I seem a little too angry in some of my posts, this is why.
      I don’t want some man looking at my underaged duaghter and thinking she is fair game or would actually WANT to be assaulted.

      If more people could comprehend how harmful this show is…
      Really appreciate you Maryanne.

  17. pingpay :

    is there any truth to this website? I have know gypsies before and they had spoken in front of me but their language was different

    http://www.globusz.com/ebooks/Romano/00000013.htm

    • mario :

      Thats a (mostly) correct lexicon of Angloromany. Also known as Rumness or Pogaddi Jib. Its spoken by Romanichal as opposed to the inflected Romani spoken by most European Romanies.

  18. youngs :

    why do most non-gypsys think that there better than gypsy?
    there’s good in bad in all race some are educated some are not that’s and every race not all non-gypsy live the same and either do gypsys you wouldn’t want some one to paint all non-gypsy with the same brush but yet that’s what you all do to gypsys GOD MADE AND LOVES ALL.

  19. curtis jeffery :

    I was just informed about your cause, You are correct about the feedback in the uk i have many friends there and most are horrified at the portrayal of our fokie. I have been to england, and i dont know what transpires at all of the irish camps. But the ones i visited along with many other english romanichal sites, The young girls and men dressed and acted very respectful. Yes they stood out from the crowd, just as we do. I can take my family to any restaurant , or gathering in the country and be able to pick another romanichal out of a crowd of hundreds. We carry ourselves , dress, and speak very uniquely.
    And that applies to our chavies. Firecracker productions are indeed going through with the show here in the u.s. And i am sure some will participate .I hope you can follow through with your project as well, I know Mr Hancock, and his writings have been very positive and acurate . All the best cushty bock., Curtis Jeffery and family Baton Rouge La.

  20. Mom :

    I feel like many more would sign including myself if we were reassured that we Not traceable by anyone other than you.

  21. Mom :

    I feel like many more would sign this If they were reassured that it could not be traced back to them by gorgas……

    • mario :

      Im sure they would Mom.
      But what can we do? Many will wished they signed when they see folki booty’in on TV. I think the wives could sign for the husbands and maybe the younger folki (over 18) could sign if the Dad is trashered.

  22. Ellen :

    HI i just have a few things that i would like to put across about the show “big fat gypsy weddings”

    I am an Irish Traveller living in Ireland and i really hope that this show will never be aired.

    It has portrayed us to be low life scum and very much all of it is based on nonsense.

    Firstly most of the people on the show are not full travellers or gypsies , they are settled people that have links to the Travelling Community .

    Since this show has been aired over here it has been really hard for my husband working as no one wants to hire a traveller.

    My child has been bullied in school for being a traveller , and therfore i have taken her from the school but will home school her , so I can understand Traveller Girls not going through the School System . But however I am a fully qualified Accountant and most of my family have professional careers. I am highly educated and yet I feel like most women in the world the need to take care of my family.

    Also on the show there was a lot of pretending to be really virtuous and old fashions because thats whats making them out to be angels.

    And to mention that Channel 4 (the original owners of the show) PAID IN FULL for all the weddings including dresses and hotels and everything . They were given money to go away and plan the biggest bling wedding that they could dream of . I wouldnt be surprised if TLC are doing the same.
    Dont be surprised when the Tax authority come knocking. Over here they recently ambushed a local traveller housing estate and went to the extreme of tearing up one mans wooden floor looking for cash and refused to replace it.

    And for the person that said THEY ARE USING THE TERM “GYPSY” TO ATTRACT RATINGS BUT THEY ARE SHOWING IRISH TRAVELLERS. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. ROMANI GYPSIES ARE A RACE!

    Travellers and Gypsies have a shared history especially in this country where there are lots of them intermarried . The people on this Show are more like settled people pretending to be Travellers and it sickens me. This is the way we have been portrayed by a small amount of Money grabbing fools who dont know how to make money and they will view you all in the same way . We tried to get this stopped before it aired and we are still suffering.

    And fools over here are signing up for the next series to get their Fifteen Minutes.

    Anyway my bottom line is Please dont think that Its IRish TRavellers that are portrayed in this because we were just as make a mockery out as as much as the gypsies were

    • mario :

      Thanks for your post Ellen.
      I want to apologize. After reading your post, and some of my own, I realize this show has even effected my perception. Of course this show doesn’t represent all Irish Travellers. I personally know many Irish here in the US. Some may act out a bit, but I’ve never seen anything like the filth they put on this show.
      Your people are suffering with us. Again.
      Make sure to get your people to sign the petition.

  23. Kel cori :

    Mandis folky kur dover Aki in America tlc folky lelled our fb an tortured us out. The only yeks that kured Dover churner Romanis or diddikais. Roms vort vasible churner an gammy suvin opre Romani navs. Mandi keker kur booti gorjas Jin mandis Romani mandi pogered from these gorjas suv them folky I’m behind yas kushter boc wit Dover

    • mario :

      Pariker tutti Kel Cory.
      Mendi’s tryin to sikker duver suvlahols opre.

      BTW, are you any relation to the Kellers?
      I haven’t vorted old Cory Keller in ages.

  24. Suv the gorgers :

    It’s a bad thing the gorgers makin our folky out to be the laughing stock.
    It’s hard enough from the discrimination we already face
    from the muskers (police) an I cur cushter booty for folky (I do good work for people).
    Never lelled in any toog for booty (never got in any trouble for work) in my life an I’ve been paving for the last 20 years.

    They would not call a calla a n!@@3r so I take it personal an offensive
    When they call me a Gypsy cause I’m 100% pure English Romanichal

  25. Suv the gorgers :

    The yek who made the big fat bad luck deal id com to have a Turk to chiv some
    Vasable boc on um burn some candles on um lord forgive me
    But they r going to make us out to b tramps an cons they will
    Never jin the truth the people who run this world the illuminati won’t
    Allow it. And the truth is we r people a culture high morals family
    Orieniented we care for one another just people fuck they r makin
    It out like we’re the Taliban damn idiots any way they can to make a dollar
    They wood sell their mothers for a couple dollars

    • nicola :

      hi…. i feel you’re target as a group, wether locally, or on a greater scale via the media because in essence you are ( or have the resources to be)the most unregulated/non controlled peoples on the planet …if i were you id keep it that way…id personally use the cultural/racial credentials in your favour to lead a more nomadic lifestyle and stay far , far away from the system.

  26. Suv the gorgers :

    I would like to c them make a show called “my big fat n!@@3r wedding.” The NAACP would
    own that station! They fucked themselves with me. I’m not being predjedice I’m just using
    what I said in the same damn way they r portraying my people to the world.
    From what I’ve seen against it looks like we are fighting a losing battle- not enough of us care I guess.
    I’m gonna move to china where mayb I’ll b accepted or Australia an jive in the bush run around
    In a pair of drawers Cory hung out like the native bushman an haul berrys an bark kel around a big
    Fire.

    • mario :

      They’re coming out with a “Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”
      We’ll all care soon enough.
      When we can’t hide anymore and the hate starts hitting us here and no one can get a job, you’ll see something.
      They are trying to make a show about hot loaders. You think you are mad now?
      Keep Checking back and go join http://www.Gypsy.com
      Some of us do care. Bunches.

  27. Mac :

    I’m actually glad this show has come out as it’s got me onto this site and made me more determined to not only trace my roots (I’m 1/4 Romani from my Spanish grandmother who settled in Scotland), but to re-embrace my heritage that I’ve always secretly been proud of in a more open way.

    So – the million dollar question – how does a 1/4 Romani get back from effectively being a Gadje (a dealin’ Gadje all the same) to being Romanichal?

    Thanks!

    • mario :

      If your Grandmother was Spanish then it is most likely that her family was Cale aka “Gitanos”.
      These are not Romanichals but they are Romanies.
      They probably aren’t very much like the Romanichal you may see in the UK.
      Cale are the originators of Spanish Flamenco Music. So – the 2 cent answer – get in touch with someone deep into Flamenco and see where you end up.

  28. GOLDIE LEE :

    MY big fat Hoosier reff weddin needs to b banned! It’s Gonna ruin us all.. The show is a joke! …

    • Raj :

      It makes one ashamed to be English, its tbirrele to put ANYONE out of their home.Winter is just round the corner. Yes, as through this world I’ve rambled I’ve seen lots of funny men,Some will rob you with a six gun, and some with a fountain pen.But as through your life you’ll travel, wherever you may roam,You won’t never see no outlaw drive a family from their home.Pretty boy Floyd:Woodie GuthrieIt be right and just if all the good folk from Dale farm went to Councillor Tony Ball houseat 52 Laburnum AvenueWickfordEssexSS12 0DAAnd put a few trailers on his nicely clipped lawn

  29. Genetic Criminal :

    I’m a non-Gypsy and I hate to see any group of people treated unfairly. I do want to point out a couple of things:

    1. The people on the BFGW show refer to themselves as Romanichal. I’m interested to know whether the actors/participants were coached to call themselves Romanichal Gypsies when they may in fact be some kind of hillbilly mulungeons unrelated to Ethnic Romanichals. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time television producers intentionally misrepresent facts.

    2. If Gypsies are stereotyped, it’s probably because the only interaction we non-Gypsies have with them is VERY negative. Perhaps a few unsavory characters are casting a negative light on an entire race, but you have to be aware that for most of us, we don’t have any experiences with normal, non-threatening Gypsies to off set the impressions made by the thieves and con artists we’ve encountered….You see, if you were robbed by a Mexican person, or a black person, you have literally thousands of examples of blacks and Mexicans who are regular folks, many of whom you know and trust.. to offset the negative experience. You know their families and even if you have a bad experience with a member of their race, you don’t really connect that bad experience with your friends at all. With Gypsies it’s different. Because Gypsies life apart from us, most of us don’t know any – and unfortunately the only ones we encounter are the bad guys.

    As to Mario’s question about whether Gypsies are genetic criminals, I don’t believe a whole race would be genetically coded with a predisposition to criminal activity. In my own family, a good percentage of us are criminals, including myself, and I’ve often wondered if there’s a “felony gene” in our DNA.. there may be, but even if there is a gene that gives a person criminal tendencies, it seems unlikely that an entire race would be afflicted.

    I think the issue is that due to negative experiences being the only experiences we have with Gypsies, many are under the impression that stealing and lying and conning are a way of life… driven by a culture that encourages criminal activity and shuns education.

    If that’s an incorrect understanding of Gypsy culture, I hope your lawsuit is successful, and I hope you get a show that showcases the best of Gypsy society.

    • I’m Irish, and I can tell you, they are members of the trallveer community, or what others my referr to as gypsies. Eastern European gypsies might look different. But if we are looking to pick at faults in the story, that is NOT a freeway! It is a road.

  30. GOLDIE LEE :

    We r all equal in Gods eyes. This show was jus a work from the devil but our Lord fights our battles! And the devil is a liar just like that show

  31. Concerned :

    I saw a snippet of my Big Fat Gypsy Wedding this weekend. I am stunned at how the mothers treat marriage and sex for their daughters. It seems the girls are not told ANYTHING and it appears that these girls being forced into a life of abuse and pregnancyl. How can any mother not educate their daughter about sex? How can a mother casually say that they were not told anything so they are not going to tell their own daughters? Is this really what the Romani culture is all about? I certainly hope not – this group is setting the stage for their daughter to be considered property … shame on those mothers …

    • mario :

      This is one of the misconceptions we are trying to fight. TLC and the Firecracker Films are spinning the show and leading the “Actors” in an effort to make everything more sensational. Profits above all- at the expense of the world’s more persecuted and least understood ethnic minority.
      You have been mislead.

  32. Stephanie H. :

    Get ‘em. It is not my heritage, but that show irks me, even with only the little bit I have actually watched. Any person can *claim* to be anything they want, but where is TLC’s proof of who they put on the show. The people on there seem like little more than rednecks with money.

    Dress like a teenage slut (with parents who seem proud of it, even when the kid dances like a stripper) with a single goal of becoming a housewife… Embracing sexual exploitation and being men’s property to do as they want and keep at home — this show isn’t for womankind either.

  33. patricia :

    Hi Mario, I am a gorger who has complete sympathy for the way TLC is portraying ya’ll. No race of people should be setup for ridicule like they have done to the gypsies on both sides of the ocean. For centuries the gypsy people have lived quietly and kept to yourselves and now this mockery of a show has come along. Hope eventually you can get this madness to cease and all will be set aright.

    • JA :

      I highly disagree that gypsies have kept to themselves for centuries. You are not keeping to yourself when you walk up to me, without any shame with your 5 kids, jewelry, purses, shoes and nice skirts, at a public concert, in Italy and hold out your hand, waiting for money. You are not keeping to yourself when your children defecate on the Romanian streets where I and the rest of the public walk. You are not keeping to yourself when you don’t pay the correct amount of taxes and then claim welfare because you have too many children.

      Do people not realize the negative effects on society and a country’s economy of having many uneducated children? You may raise the kid yourself but remember, in any industrialized country, even most third-world ones, EVERYONE uses public works in some form or another. Why should some consistently support fully capable people?

      Keep your culture; many immigrated people do but respect the one you live in. Begging, defecating and defrauding a country does not make people like an ethnic group.

      Yes, I know, the above does not apply to all gypsies.

      • mario :

        Hello JA,

        Thanks for helping to illustrate the bigotry and hate we have to live with. You say it better than I could ever explain.
        You’re from Romania? Before you knock beggars and homeless people, you might want to apologize for the slavery your homeland imposed on Romanies for over 500 years.
        Did you know that Romanies were slaves there until the 1870′s?
        Unlike freed black slaves in America, there was never any affirmative action nor social reparations for the released Romani slaves. Only discrimination, segregation in schools (if we were even allowed to go), poverty and unemployment.
        Did you know that we have never taken up arms or waged war against anyone?
        Did you know that there are Romanians (not Romanies) who beg, evade taxes and defecate in the street?

  34. Elizabeth :

    Wow! I am not of any traveller or gypsy decent, just a person who stumbled across a show a TLC. I just wanted to share a word of encouragement to you all. I know nothing of your lifestlye or the abuse you have taken. It breaks my heart that you face discrimination because of who you are. I was unaware that “gypsy” people were still around and I have enjoyed learning more. I personally don’t think less of this group of people and wish there was more to the show because I feel I have learned so much from what little I have watched. I have tried to do more research but there is very little out there. I think people are scared of what they don’t know. the more real information you give people the better everyone will be for it. If you find TLC’s approach to be mockery you should find another option for representing yourselves because I find it all very enchanting and wish I knew more about a life that is so very different from my own.

    • Luther :

      Elizabeth, you seem like a good hearted person, but you also say you know nothing of their culture and you feel for them. Did you stop to think that perhaps their culture and “their ways” bring upon them the negative reputation they have? Sure, there are thieves in every culture, but do you know any other culture where the vast majority of the people are thieves and con artists? Mario didn’t deny that they shit in the street and steal. He just made an excuse for it by complaining about how his people were treated. Maybe they were treated badly by the locals because they were shitting in the streets and stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down. Mario says that’s bigotry. So we’re supposed to *applaud* your behavior because you’re a gypsy, but if we complain that we don’t want you to shit in our streets, then we’re bigots. That makes no sense at all. But I do have a question 0 where can I buy one of those Romanichal chicks for my club?

  35. Marjorie :

    Maria,

    I commend your actions, and I would like to support you in your efforts to attain fair and accurate depictions of the Romanichal culture here in America. However, as I am not of your culture, it would be inappropriate for me to sign your petition (as any winnings, should that be possible, should remain within your community).

    So… how may I help?

    :-)

    Marjorie

  36. Marjorie :

    Ooops! I apologize for calling Mario by Maria… I saw Maria’s name in a reply, and I believed she was moderating the page.

    :-(

    Marjorie

  37. Erica :

    I have seen these shows on televison and franlkly they find the way that you are depicted just disgustingly awful. I am not a traveller nor a gypsy just a normal person and I feel that they could find trash in any race, culture, community etc if they did this to just the avrage Joe do you think it would be allowed? No.. society has come to a point where they just believe what they see and hear on tv and what you say about taking your children out of school to be home schooled is the best thing you can do when in highschool there were so many drugs around girls having sex at 13 getting pregnant and never having the father around rape and so much more… I understand why your lives are kept in the dark people do not understand due to if anything is not like them they will judge and in a bad way. I support you in everything you are saying if you would like any help in a legal way I am currently a law student and my husband a lawyer also my father a lawyer and I have told them about this and is has disgusted them emensly. Anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to email me.

  38. Skye :

    An “American gypsy task force”? I seriously doubts that with all of the national threats in this country that the gypsy culture ranks high enough or even on that list to merritt a “task force”. I think that as the spearhead of this campaign, as a conspiracist, will only hurt your campaign. Also, a great woman, Eleanor Roosevelt once said “no one can make you feel inferior with out your consent.” by being so angry at these companies who produce these shows and by caring so much of what the world thinks of you, you are only allowing yourself to feel and look that way. It gives the perception, which is 99 percent of reality that the way the gypsy community is misrepresented is actually how you truly feel about yourself. This campaign is only showing these companies that they are granting the public notoriety, even from you- a self professed gypsy. You are publicly showing them that you allowing them to make you feel inferior.
    Also I would like to point out, that one of your cornerstone arguments towards counter arguments against this campaign, or even just questioning of this campaign is the persons incorrect spelling. This only shows your lack of maturity centered around this topic. Which leads me to assume you will somehow find a grammatical error somewhere within this comment.
    My thoughts on this whole page is that you are actually giving more credit to the show. People interested and googling for it will stumble across your page, see where the education and maturity level of the self proclaimed gypsies who are chiming in on your topics seem to be and will only crave for the show and their next episode high.

    • mario :

      Hi Skye,

      Yes. There are many American Gypsy Task forces. The following was taken from http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Gangs/Articles/Print/Story/2001/06/Gypsies-Kings-of-Con.aspx

      “How to fight the problem
      The South Florida Gypsy Crimes Task Force has made a dent in Gypsy crime and gained national attention. The task Force is multi-jurisdictional and composed of federal, state, county and city law enforcement and prosecutors. Gypsies are photographed, businesses visited, licenses verified, fire codes, ordinances, etc., all used for compliance. It’s difficult to pull a successful scam when you are well-known to the cops.”

      Btw, I don’t feel inferior. I feel pissed off.
      Sometimes I am immature. Thats me.
      If at times I wax overly sarcastic it is because I don’t want to waste energy having a serious argument with someone who doesn’t even care to know the truth.
      Regarding your grammar, you forgot to capitalize Gypsy.

      • Luther :

        Obviously there’s a gypsy task force because so many gypsies are criminals. Mostly they steal from the elderly and anyone stupid enough to pay them to have their fortune told, or through various con games. Mario, seriously, are you against the task forces because you feel the elderly should NOT be protected from thieves and con artists? Do you really want to convince us that gypsies should have free reign to con and steal? What’s next? Biker gangs complain that the police are preventing them from gang-raping our grandmas?

        • mario :

          Not all bikers gangs rape grandmas. Get it?
          …No?
          Are there any N!@@3r task forces? How about Jew squads?
          Would you approve of them as well?
          Everyone knows how them black people are all drug dealers and pimps.
          One Jewish man (Bernie Madoff-) scammed more money than all Romanies in the history of the world combined.

          • Luther :

            That was good. I liked your comment about the Ni88er Task Force and the Jew Squads. Does that analogy really apply though? I’m going to ask a serious question and perhaps expose my ignorance. If so, and if it educates people, that’s a good thing.

            Here’s the deal: I walk down the streets in my town and I pass black people who are not dealing drugs and I know plenty of Jews who don’t steal or cheat. But every time I go to Europe I’m confronted by Gypsies trying to surround tourists and steal their wallets, begging and doing the fake baby routines, etc. In the US you have thousands of palm reader con artists that set up shop in small houses along busy boulevards and they take advantage of people. These shops are invariably run by Gypsies. What I have know way of knowing is whether these people are the minority among Gypsies. So to my question – Mario, what percentage of Gypsies would you say are law-abiding people who work regular jobs versus those who run cons and steal?

            Finally, to your credit, you keep this site up in the face of a lot of anti-Gypsy sentiment and you put up with a lot of shit from people and you never lose your cool. Kudos for that.

          • mario :

            You offer honest debate not in the interest of winning an argument, but rather in the interest of furthering knowledge. I doubt you are very ignorant Luther.
            Here are my thoughts:
            You walk down the streets in your town and pass blacks not selling drugs, generous Jews AND Romanies who you never suspect are Romanies. We are in every city in America.
            Here in America we can blend in, disguise our heritage and live a decent life. We don’t wear signs around our necks stating “hey I’m a law abiding, tax paying, baseball coaching GYPSY”. I won’t get into all the sociological and historical reasons why we generally conceal our heritage but trust me; no Romanies would exist today if we didn’t.
            If Romanies were all genetically doomed to be thieving, begging pickpockets, you wouldn’t make it to the grocery store in Anytown, USA with your wallet intact.
            In Europe the situation is different. Gypsies are segregated sharply from the host societies and discriminated against very harshly. There is discrimination in education. In employment. In every aspect of their lives.
            Furthermore, we/they have no homeland. No ambassadors. No one to stand up for us.
            So those people you see in Europe are in very desperate situations. Very few are able to get jobs no matter how hard they try.
            You know, even Ole Yeller stole the meat off the porch once he got hungry enough. What would you do in a hostile land with no help? No hope? And hungry kids?
            Regarding the palm readers, a fair percentage of a select few tribes of Romanies still practice fortune telling. These people operate in the open with store fronts on major streets in the middle of busy towns. If they were doing terrible things they would not be able to operate for decades in the same locations. Plus, you have to consider, for every Romani psychic you see, you will find 100 non-Romani readers. Just ask Dion Warwick and her Psychic network or John Edwards as he talks to dead people with a straight face on national television. By the way, almost no Romanichal even tell fortunes at all. I don’t personally know of even one. Old the old readers quit the business in my grandmother’s generation as the American Romanichals were swept up in the continuing Evangelical Christian movement. We are seeing the same thing happening today among the Kalderash and Machavaya tribes here in America.
            What is the crime rate among Romanies? I don’t know. Honestly, it is probably very low in the United States. We have enough money here to live on par with our neighbors. Legitimate money.
            I do know that violent crimes like rape and murder are almost non-existant in Romani communities.
            I’m sure in other countries where Romanies are in greater poverty the crime rates are higher. Socioeconomic motivation for crime is an arguable point. Claiming any race has a genetic disposition for crime is racist and dangerous.

  39. Crissy Peters :

    I understand how TLC could misrepresent Travellers to create “hype” and what they believe will increase ratings…..the problem I have is just HOW they forced(?) these teen and even pre-teen girls to dress and dance oh-so provocatively! These CHILDREN are shown dancing in ways that I have only seen in strip clubs and porno films! I am a Mother of 2 (now grown) daughters and I would not have even allowed my girls to play “dress up” in such clothing,much less, attend a party wearing it! TLC FORCES (?) us to then believe that the gypsies do not let these girls speak with boys other than at parties? ….again….TLC must really think we viwers are idiots because tyere is NO SUCH THING as a nieve, innocent, “good” girl who would even CONSIDER owning, much less WEARING clothing like that! I have seen gypsies in my lifetime, i have been ripped off more than once (here in the US) by gypsies, I sympathize for the way they have been mislead to believe that education is not needed (you can tell by their poor grammar on the show…unless TLC forced them to speak that way as well)… But I feel that the WORST that TLC is “making” the gypsies appear to be are BACKWOODS REDNECKS….it’s NOT like you all are high-class citizens to begin with, you know?
    I think it’s a case of people doing anything possible to appear on T.V. And regretting it later (once they saw how bad they looked!)

  40. Michelle :

    I have watched these shows and the one I find most pathetic is the Gypsy in America showing a bunch of folks in West Virginia. I am not Romany, Gypsy, Gadgo or Traveler but I am from the South and I know white trash when I see it. I don’t have any problems with the ‘bling’ but the sleaze of the women is pretty pathetic. You can be ‘sexy’ and ‘blinged out’ without showing your stuff. As a woman I find it degrading and very unattractive. I realize that just a small population of the Romany group is being depicted and these people were picked because it makes good TV but with all the talk of virginity, ‘virtue’, etc. the sleaze goes against all of that. They say that ‘gorger’ girls are easy but the Romany girls throw it all out there for the world to see. I guess I would not make a good Romany wife. It takes courage to speak out on an issue such as this and for that you have my utmost respect.

  41. Trisha :

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this website. I recently viewed several episodes of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, and I couldn’t believe the nonsense and backward thinking that these characters portrayed. I immediately began to research the Rominchal heritage to learn more about this curious culture. What I discovered was a long history of mistreatment and persecution suffered by a race of people at the hands of ignorant bigots. So much so, that it literally brought tears to my eyes.

    This show may be absurd, but due to my curious nature, it actually led me to research and discover an ethnicity that I never knew existed in the U.S., and who have strong family values much like my culture. I am an American of Mexican descent.

    By the way, I did not find your analogies offensive. They were actually quite humorous because they are so true! Who wouldn’t get offended at having such stereo types portrayed as the norm for their culture!

    I hope you accomplish what you have set out to do. God bless you in your endeavors.

  42. Meg :

    If someone could explain something to me, I’d certainly appreciate it. I have watched both series of this kind on TLC- the newest being My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. I have read through the comments on this petition and I understand that many of you are offended that Irish Travellers are being called Gypsies, as they clearly are not of Romani heritage. So my question is, are you saying that on the show My Big Fat American Gypsy wedding, the people who call themselves Romani or Romanichal are liars or actors? The people on this show physically appear to be Romanichal, and they are often scantily clad and many have talked about ending their schooling at a young age. I don’t really see how anyone can deny that. For instance, the episode about Pat Baby and his daughter Priscilla- they state that Priscilla stopped school at age 12. Another Romanichal girl, in the same episode, had an offer from a Romanichal boy to run away together, but she stated that she wanted to finish high school. Obviously in a matter of one or two episodes, this show has depicted two different representations of Romani people. I love all people so I do sympathize with your plight as far as essential human equality is concerned, but I guess I don’t see how one can deny that these shows are at least a somewhat accurate representation of certain sub-groups of Romani people.

    • mario :

      Hi Meg,
      Most of the comments you are reading are from last year when the UK version was showing Irish Travellers. This season is different. Now the show is attempting to target Romanichal as well.
      I will edit the main page to reflect the change.
      Overwhelmingly, they have been unsuccessful. Hundreds of Romanichal were approached to do this show. So far, we have seen only a handful of actual Romanichals or half Romanichals. The few they have shown are mentally questionable people on the fringes of Romanichal culture.
      Everyone else they are showing are either regular Americans who know Romanichals or, in the case of Ed the asphalt Paver, former employees of Romanichal who are calling themselves Romanichal. Ed is a non-Romani (Gaudja) who used to work for the man who was selling the asphalt with him. His wife is Pilipino. TLC devoted half an episode to his American/Pilipino daughter’s birthday party. So, to answer your question, yes there are both actors and liars. And scripted action.
      They said that Priscilla had over 40,000 Swarovski crystals in her party outfits. Her outfit cost more than her home, her mother’s pickup and the 1980 dump truck her father drove. Combined. Do you really think dear Pat Baby paid for all of that?
      This show is not an accurate representation of anyone. Three or four outrageous, chemically dependent, half witted outcasts with fading connections to ONE minority faction within the MANY different types of Romanies does not in any way accurately represent “Gypsies”.

  43. JM :

    I don’t take anything on these shows seriously. The network loves to edit footage in order to make the program “entertaining”, but obviously, it’s at the expense of the people on the shows and those who are Romani. I’m honestly shocked any Romani person would allow themselves and their families to be exploited like that. Considering the past and how much persecution there was against gypsies, MBFGW is just making it worse and egging it on. It’s been going on for thousands of years but that doesn’t make it o.k. My ancestors had to flee Belarus during WWII and there’s a good chance they were gypsies. Some were Jewish as well. Either way, I can only imagine what they would say about this show. It wouldn’t be good, I can tell you that much. It makes me sick that some people would be naive and ignorant enough to judge a whole race of people based on a “reality” TV show. Go out into the REAL world and get to truly know individuals before judging. I feel really bad for the families that are being harassed or taunted due to this show. I hope MBFGW gets cancelled.

  44. Elizabeeth :

    Mario and other Romanis: I’m sorry for the lifetime of bigotry, hatred, and vileness committed by ignorant people, kingdoms, and governments against you and your families. I had always dreamed I was a gypsy when I was a child … not for the “Esmerelda” of Victor Hugo fame, but for the love of family, nomadic lifestyle, and a host of other reasons. I am truly sorry that Travellers are being exploited, and I hope that there are more reasonable people than there are ignorant, but we know that probably isn’t the case. The distinction between Romania/Egyptian descent, and non, does need to be revealed. I wish a factual documentary could be created and revealed to the public, but that would infringe upon your people’s privacy, and that wouldn’t be right. I truly hope that your friends and family can continue to fight the prejudicial attitudes and can continue to value your families, and your heritage. As a “mutt,” I respect the devotion to traditional ways and am horrified at the suggestive programs that depict Travellers’ lifestyles as Romani. I don’t buy into the whole Facebook thing, otherwise I would sign the petition there as a non-Romani. We are a human species with inherent differences in ancestral traditions, connected, yet distinct, and all should be respectful of the differences betwixt the varying cultures, heritages, and beliefs. May your life be filled with many blessings, much courage and fortitude, and love for Romani and non-Romani alike. Peace!

  45. Ellie :

    Mario, I can tell you are an well-spoken, educated person who is justifiablly incensed over how TLC is depicting your race and culture in such a negative fashion. However, because I consider myself as extremely tolerant, as well as somewhat naiive, I wonder if those negative perceptions were intentionally produced by the network or if we are choosing to view them that way. For instance, I’m half Italian, half Spanish American who grew up in a Northern New Jersey suburb (not unlike the Sopranos, but on the poorer side of the tracks). I’m also 59 years old. But from the time I was a child, my family made me believe if I wasn’t married by the age of 20 I would be an old maid. So, guess what, by the time I was 20 years old I had My Big Fat Italian Wedding with the whole hoopla to go with it. And divorced two years later. My cousin – same thing. My sister 15 years older than me, was married at 19! Back then that’s what you looked forward to doing all your life. Granted a lifetime has passed and these girls are being shown to have “old-fashioned values” in sexy, revealing clothing” which really is a dichotomy. Especially when most of today’s young women want to start a career and take care of themselves before taking care of someone else. But it IS a CULTURAL thing. And every culture has it’s – for lack of a better word – quirks. My co-worker is Hispanic and her daughter’s Quincenera was equal to a wedding and cost just as much. We may think that’s just as ridiculous as these parties and weddings hosted by the Romany population. But in defense of the program (and I am sorry if I don’t sound sympathetic to your cause, because I really do understand how you must feel), at least I’ve been exposed to viewing something I knew nothing about. And it’s given me an opportunity to do my own research and find out some truths about the real and true Romanical Culture. And that’s how I came across this web-site. Although I’m naiive, I’m not so much so that I don’t look beyond what TV force feeds me. Long story – short – hopefully more people who see the show, like me, will be curious enough to educate themselves and learn to tolerate other cultures and ways of life. So, tell people who you are and what you really stand for and how your culture differs from the way it’s depicted on TV. Educate the rest of us now that we know you exist! And maybe the fear and prejudice won’t be so great.

    • mario :

      TLC and Firecracker Films (the producers) are most definitely intentionally depicting our culture negatively. Not out of pure spite, but rather for profit. They need to seek out the most ridiculous, most outrageous and racy people they can find or no one would bother to watch. As if thats not good enough, they then edit and spin the content further.
      I don’t think you are naive at all. You are going beyond what 99.9% would do in that you have taken it upon yourself to delve deeper.
      Still, the show has implanted false information that your research hasn’t corrected. Here’s a short list of myths I would dispel:
      - It is not common for our kids to get married at 14 or 15 years old. On average, Romanichal kids get married at around 18-20 years old. Thats still younger than average Americans but not young enough to fuel trash TV. Firecracker is spinning this by scripting the show narrator to keep repeating “14″ over and over. Notice that no minors have been married on the show. Its kinda illegal…
      - Under no circumstances do Romanichal fathers seek out husbands for their daughters ever- much less at 14. Just like ALL fathers, we want are kids to stay our babies until they are 50. In the case of “Pat Baby” and his Halloween party you see someone of at least questionable mentality who was following direction of the show’s producers- for pay. Firecracker organized and paid for the party. They bought the booze. They design and pay for the dresses.
      - Romanichal women can and do dress “sexy” at times- but no where near to the extent you see on the show. Our idea of fashion involves over the top hair, makeup and clothes; not slutty stripper outfits and poole dance routines. What you are seeing on the show is coached behavior. There is a line between sexy and vulgar and everyone has their own perception of where that line is. What I can assure you is that the movement and dressing we are seeing on this show is mortifying to the Romanichal who are watching it along with you.
      -Finally, very few Romanichal are actually on the show. The few who you do see are on the fringes of our culture. More often than not, the brides have been “Guadja” brides trying to “gain acceptance”. Murphy’s Secret Village was again about an Irish Traveller and his new American wife. Ed the paver is a 100% Guadja who used to work for a Romanichal. He is married to a Pilipino lady and was throwing a party for his Pilipino/American Daughter. Nettie and crew would not be esteemed in any culture. Where are the fathers? The men? These young girls come from broken homes and are hamming it up at Firecracker’s direction. For pay. Under the inticement of what they have been assured is their impending superstardom.

  46. Ronni :

    Good luck with your lawsuit. I admit I have watched the show and it did pique my interest. The Romany culture seems fascinating. However, I would hate to watch something that is so utterly offensive to the people it purportedly describes.
    It is truly sad that you continue to be victims of such blatant and disgusting stereotypes and discrimination. It is something we should all fight against.

    I for one will not watch that show again. God Bless!

    • Al :

      I agree wholeheartedly. Things were fine at my house. Last summer a Gypsy roofing crew was in the neighborhood and it was such a good deal and they offered quality craftsmanship. I couldn’t pass it up. Actually, my local hardware store owner was ecstatic because since the first rainfall I’ve purchased 18 pails at the hardware store. So anyone who says Gypsys don’t help the economy hasn’t talked to my local hardware store manager in Pawtucket.

  47. Ash :

    I for one watch the show, but I never really took it that seriously because the title sounded like it would be offensive to begin with. I see it as a representation of the people in the show, but not of an entire group of people. As an African-American, I’m kind of used to seeing shows that portray the people of my race/ ethnicity in a negative, stereotypical light. So I’m able to separate the two. I’m really sorry that there are some people who watch this show and assume that this show is representative of a group of people larger than it actually represents. It represents the individuals who are on the show and nothing more.

    I feel like they could achieve similar ratings on a show that’s just about really flashy weddings and not necessarily “Gypsy” (I am hesitant to use that word, and I only use it in reference to the show) related. The show doesn’t actually educate us about the cultures it claims to portray in the show (clearly), so I don’t exactly know why they feel the need to have the title/ focus of the show be what it is. I’m starting to wonder if it’s just advertisement for the woman who makes the dresses ^^;.

    Anyway, I don’t exactly know what I’m trying to say with this message. I guess the biggest feeling I have is sorrow. I’m just really sorry. It never feels good to have someone misrepresent you, and it’s always terrible when people take that misrepresentation as a valid representation of more than anyone other than the people who are choosing to represent themselves in that way.

    It’s not your responsibility to have to educate us, so I kind of disagree with some of the comments that I’ve read that have something to say about you needing to try and create your own show to prove shows like “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” wrong. You don’t need to make a TV show so that the stupid, lazy people in the world don’t have to make an effort to get to know you. It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves, and to learn not to make assumptions. It’s useful if you decide to share aspects of your culture and history in writing or on TV or as a documentary because it does provide us with more accurate information. But even if there were never a TV show to counteract shows like the one you’re petitioning against, we still have no right to make assumptions about an entire group of people based on any one representation. Nothing is more educational than just getting to know someone. And whether or not you get to know someone, it’s never OK to judge what they do. I don’t know anything about your culture, but your culture is YOURS and it’s not my right to tell you whether it’s right or wrong. I’m just happy that you have such a strong identity. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

    Anyway, I just really wanted to say that I’m sorry.

    Good luck with your petition. With love,
    Ash.

  48. Petra :

    I watched this show in the Netherlands, and though I´m far from stupid I fell for it. I saw the constant vulgar and antisocial behaviour and then I saw a guy yelling on the street, complaining that they where not being accepted by society because they were ´different´ and all I thought was if you mean by different being really anti social and truly vulgar well duh! I wouldn´t wan´t to live next to you as well! See it´s true there are always some groups screaming the loudest they are being discriminated, when in fact they are simply misbehaving, demanding more than others, or want to bend the rules a little for their own sake.
    So yeah, this show is not doing a lot of good…. and indeed neither do shows like Toddlers and Tiaras.

  49. dave :

    Well I have no understanding of gypsy culture or way of life. And after watching this show of pathetic trashy people getting drunk, partying and beating the shit out of each other its no suprise the general public think gypsy people are a lower class people. It would be a good idea to get that show off and replace it with a real depiction of your culture. But as you probably know that would never happen because people don’t want to watch that they rather see a bunch of fighting, drinking and bullshit. These reality shows are the furtherest thing from real.

    • Borat Sagadeyev :

      I agree very much Dave. Gypsy ruin Kazakhstan. We run them over borders into Uzbekistan where belong.

      -Borat

  50. Jon :

    I am an anthropology graduate student and I would love to communicate with Romanichal in the southeast US. Please look me up on Twitter @starj0n and let’s work together. Send me a msg there and let me know who you are.

    I support your objectives and I hope to contribute to a more informative narrative of Romanichal culture.

  51. Charlotte :

    Good luck with your petition, truly. It’s difficult and often futile going up against a company with more lawyers and money than you can imagine. But you never know! It may be one of those underdog stories everyone loves hearing about.

    I’m wondering though, have you considered getting a group of Romanies together who are against this series and creating your own videos? Like, upload them on YouTube and make them go viral (posting the links in comment threads on websites recapping the show, especially). It has the potential to reach millions and re-educate the public. Use social media to your advantage as much as possible.

  52. oh really!! :

    you talk about how your people are being attacked but you continuously reference ni@@er and said all blacks are drug dealers and pimps what a stupid comnent. You give off the same hate to others that your people receive.

    • mario :

      I didn’t say any such thing. Read a little slower and try to get the point.
      So I even reference N!@@3r and you are outraged. Note, I don’t dare even spell out the word- just reference it- and you are livid…
      But you don’t care at all about the abuses my ethnicity suffers do you?
      You know we were slaves too? For over 500 years…

  53. J Lee :

    I have only seen a couple of the TV shows but it caught my eye because of a family story that has become something of a “legend”. Please, understand when you read this the time period this took place and it has been handed down by mouth for 4 generations now.

    My grandmother was raised in a VERY wealthy town in West Virginia. Her uncle ( who raised her after her mother died in childbirth) basically owned the town. The general store, the lumber mill and on and on. It was told that a group of gypsies often traveled through this area. One day when my grandmother was of a young age the gypsies came through and kidnapped her and her uncle had to round up a posse of townsfolk and go get her back. My grandmother supposedly was wanted because she was a blue eyed, blonde, beautiful child. In addition, the gypsies thought they may have had the chance to gain some money from her uncle for her return at some point.

    That is the story that I grew up hearing. Somewhere, along the line it turned into a saying in our family that when a child was misbehaving an adult would say ” I am going to sell you to the gypsies” ( this was not a scare tactic at all it was more like having some fun with my grandmother)

    In my life time, because I am married to a man that moves for his job about every 3 years, I changed it to” I can’t sell you to the gypsies I am the gypsy”

    NOw, as I said at the beginning remember the way people thought in my grandmother’s time. I honestly, have long been curious about the story and the implied “bad gypsies”

    I mistakenly thought that gypsies were just a word not actually a “real people group” that still existed. When I was flipping channels and saw the show that was based in West Virginia I thought I was on to something. Sadly, after watching the show twice I realized I was not going to learn much there.

    I have been searching the web but have found so many contradicting stories and “fact”. I am now more curious then ever to find truth.

    I have quite a bit of Irish ( minus the above grandmother) and now see there are Irish Travelers also.

    All this has been a very long winded version of HELP! Where do I find true answers? Not just conjuncture( which seems to be quite prolific on the web) Documented, historical facts about the different gypsies, travelers?

    I would love to be the generation that really adds fact to our story.

    Thank you for your time in reading this and thank you for trying to spread some truth to what seems to me to be a much misunderstood people. ( I am even thinking of the way gypsies are spoken about in the Disney version of Hunchback)

    Jlee

  54. Lisa :

    Hi! I’m Lovari-Mačvaya Roma, but I have met some Romanichal in my lifetime. I just want to say that this show does a great injustice to your vitsa. Most Romanichal I have spoken to are kind, reserved & very respectful. I think no matter our vitsa, as Romani, we should band together to get justice for our people.
    The network actually told the Irish Traveller couple on the American show that the title of the program would be “Traveller Wedding”, not “Gypsy Wedding”. This is not the only lie I have heard that the network told the participants. I know the individuals who agreed to do the show let themselves get into the predicament & were at the mercy of TLC & Firecracker Productions, but the ruthless way in which they were portrayed warrants even them to sue.
    I can speak on behalf of many other Lovari, Kalderash & Sinti in America, that we stand behind you & your community in suing both TLC & Firecracker.
    Músaj te beshas jekh tan ánde kava mure pheija thaj pralja.
    We must stand united in this my brothers & sisters.
    Opre Roma!

    • mario :

      Lisa,

      You post means so much to me. I’m married to a Kalderash Romni. My kids are half Romanichal/half Kalderash.
      What breaks my heart the most is the division I feel this type of media will drive between the different vitsas.
      That may be the most damaging consequence of this new trend in Gypsy “reality” television. Driving us apart when we need to unite more than ever.
      Your post really gives me hope. Nais tuke.

  55. Msbeautynstyle :

    I am in know form stating any negativity about Gypsies, when I first started watching MBFAGW I thought what a way to go not having sex before marriage although. I thought 16 was young to settle down. I thought wow that’s great to be so darn clean even if you live in a trailer, I saw many positive sides, then I started seeing how some venue’s not allowing Gypsies to rent there places. Started to see lots of negative and positive. I know and hear your findings when you say they pick the worse to play the roles, but do you really think real Gypsies would be on reality TV! I like the respect they have for there women they work outside, you work inside I’m not sure if that’s misrepresentation. Again I know nothing about Gypsies but it was one show that stood out for me, I loved how the girls knew they were to be pure and they seemed to want this that’s what made me watch the show, at know point did I believe they where all real live Gypsies I do not agree how they keep throwing in Gypsies are fighters, don’t like how it shows all the men hustling but again it’s reality TV

  56. Mischelle Ricord :

    Hello Mario! I have read most of these comments and will definitly read the rest later. Anyway I will admit that I’ve been watching “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” but am very mindful to not believe everything that I see and hear on it. I know stereotyping when I see or hear it, and like I said I don’t believe everything that I see and hear on this particular reality show. That being said, I have read a few books about the Romani people beginning with Isabel Fonseca’s “Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey”. Like so many commentaters on any internet thread I too am very interested in your culture. I am glad that I found your website on the Internet! Have a quick Monday.

  57. Not a Gypsy :

    I am sure that much of this show is “Hollywood”. Remember sex and idiot portrayals sell. However I believe there is a lot of truth below the surface in this series. These people feel they are culturally and intellectually superior to the rest of us (mostly whites and blacks).

    I’m sure there is some ethnic pride to Romanichal people. But while several claim that these show participants are inaccurate portrayals, I beg to differ. In my area we have other groups, such as Chaldeans, that portray similar behaviors. Their men chase our women around and are essentially “male whores” (gawad in Arabic), yet though they need to marry a virgin. Their women are extremely vain and carry a false air of superiority about them.
    On this show, these ‘Romani’ girls act like a bunch of ‘skanks’ and jackassess. However, I don’t think it is as much acting as the REAL gypsy behavior and that wasn’t supposed to be caught on camera to expose this to the rest of the world. But as any citizens who have had to live in close proximity to an ethnic group know, there is a collectivism rooted in superiority and they usually are ostracized by the other communities (whites and blacks) because nobody likes someone who acts like a jackass. While fellow Gypsys may find it “cute” the way these people act, I think their sons are a bunch of egotistical meatheads and the daughters are a bunch of immature harlots. Maybe if they would conduct themselves in a civilized manner the outside community wouldn’t ostracize them.

    “Never let a Gypsy contractor work on your house.”
    -Old Proverb

    • shelby :

      you just judged and condemned a whole race because of a few people in your neighborhood and a tv show. to be honest i think your narrowminded racist attitude is low. and i wouldnt care if every romanichal had a behind of platinum outlined with gold or the biggest theif in the world i would much rather associate with them for the rest of my life than spend 2 minutes with the likes of you

  58. Mary :

    It is sad in our modern age that persecution such as this is allowed to continue. The TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding does a severe injustice to persons of Romanichal origin. It is stereotyping at its finest. Romanichal people are hard working and family oriented. I wish that the show didn’t focus on the negative aspects of the life, but on the cultural signifigance and historical fact. After all, it was the Romanichal who stole the nails from Christ’s cross after the crucifixtion to preserve them for posterity.

    Mary

  59. J D :

    I have been fascinated by the MBFGW TLC tv series.
    However, I have always questioned the possible “scripting” and the obvious “spin” of the episodes at the expense of the Romanichal culture.
    I applaud the courage of those presenting this petition to present a more balanced and accurate depiction of this interesting group of high energy, hard working, fun-loving, and family oriented people.
    Perception is the NEW reality and whenever the truth is twisted for ANY reason, the long term problem is that it becomes very VERY difficult to untwist the misconceptions borne of a warped unchallenged presentation.
    In short, I will sign the peition and STOP watching MBFGW. If there is such a thing as reincarnation I really think I’d like a try at being a Romaini.

  60. shelby :

    i have watched the program. i have a friend who is romanichal. her and her children are very compassionate and caring and she has a very high moral standing. whether for entertainment or to decieve the reputation and feelings of others should always be a top priority. so to respect my friend and the romanichal culture not only will i sign the petition i will not watch the program any more. sorry for my part in condoning the disrespect to all of you by watching it at all

  61. Lotte :

    I have to say when I first watched the show I couldn’t tell what the difference was between gypsies and regular hillbilly trailer trash. I had to google to find more info. Seriously I’ve met my husbands hillbilly relatives and they act exactly the same. They look the same and had the same manner of speaking so I just had to learn more.

    The ones on tv seemed really bad, so I don’t doubt that they picked the most interesting ones. It was shocking and I’d be pissed if I or any of my family were portrayed in the worst light. But the more I watched the shows the more I warmed up to the girls in their cute dresses. They seemed so sweet. And I don’t know but it warmed my heart how close the families seem to be. I saw that there was a lot of pride coming from fathers and mothers towards having raised their children well. So since I’m not gypsy romani I can’t say either way if the portrayal is fair. Probably not. Just saying that they did show a tender side the show.
    Good luck in your quest to make TLC bend backwards.

    • mario :

      The show doesn’t show any authentic Romanies. Certainly none who are uphold any of the real culture.
      It is scripted. The show designs and buys the dresses. They throw the parties (that no one from the communities attend).
      The main star, Nettie, was raised in foster care and has a very abusive past.
      The crime commited here is that this little blog can’t compete with a lying international media phenom.

  62. etta :

    being a daughter of a romanichal mother i can say that she was free hearted loving and compassionate toward strangers. she did a great job raising all 10 of us children and put her faith in JESUS. as for me i am neither a drunk a thief or trailor trash. but if anyone chooses to believe i am still dont change the facts

  63. miss muchwanka :

    hi Mario
    I’m a romani (muchwanka) american gypsy from the west.
    i’ve seen this show and to be honest i only knew kalderush,boyosh lovari and muchawhya only existed,so romnichal is new to me!
    i hate the show.
    because even though we are not all the same vitsa(tribes) it all comes down to one word…”GYPSY” outsiders dont know the differences.
    or that we have our own complete language,tradition’s and belief’s.
    i can’t speak for the rest but..we dont dress like that,we dont dance like that and we dont put on partys to find potential husband’s for our 14 year old daughter’s. i was 26 when married and my 2 other sisters at 24 year’s old.
    yes i will admit i was pulled out of school but, that was because our father wanted to make sure we stood pure and not lose our cultural values..so tutoring for the last 4 year’s till 18.

    from what i know we are the only culture/ethnic/vitsa that can trace family to other family when we meet other roma for the first time.
    that 6 degrees of seperation stuff.
    so mario..i support you….we all do!
    me and my vitsa would be honored to stand by you and see this through.
    we are not a myth…we are not a legend…we are real! and we suffered enuff.

    • mario :

      Parriker tutti (Nais tuke),

      Hi Sherry. The Machavaya call Romanichals “Boyosh”. So you actually do know Romanichals. This is technically a mistake though. True Boyash are really Kalderash from Romania who lost their language during slavery. In the puro temah Kalderash knew these Romanies who looked/acted like them but who did not speak the language. They called them Boyash even though by blood they were actually Kalderash.
      When the Kalderash came to the United States, the Romanichal were already here because we came from England in Colonial times. When the Kalderash saw these new people who looked like them but spoke only a broken version or Romanesse, they said “Look, more Boyash”.
      There are also Sinti Romanies (Django Reinhart) and maybe millions of Kale Gypsies. Ever heard of Flamenco? Both of these vitsas are actually more closely related to Romanichals than to Kalderash.
      All that matters is that we are all one people. One ethnic group and we must stay together.

  64. Nicole :

    i’ve been saying this since i saw it on youtube, not only should tlc be sued but so should thelma nadine the dress designer who started this nuisence! where was tlc’s research team to see that these are not gypsies at all not even rommichels or travelers these are kadjey they taught a few words paid them a few hundred and stuck a camera in their face! who at tlc approved this so called “program”? i’d like to see TLC make a show called my big black gang or my big fat mexican immagration trial AND LET’S SEE HOW FAST THEY GET SUED! but they think because we are uneducated roma we won’t make a fuss but where there wrong is we are an educated people now! as my papo would say “we’ve changed with the times” just like we always do but my generation will not sit by and hide because we don’t fear persacution the way our elders did, we’re trying to show kadjey were nothing to be afraid of were not the old wives tales of gypsy curses were not the ones who come to steal children in the night (criminal minds episode a few years ago) our girls are not whores we do not dress half naked in our homes or in public! no gypsy girl would be caught dead dressing like this, the weddings on the show aren’t even our types of weddings! where is the stahgo? where is the culuna? where is the lolo chiefta on the groom? where is the dogho? these aren’t our weddings and sadly enough the kadjey don’t know any better and assume this is how we live not just here in the usa but everywhere! and even worst our younger generations think it’s now ok to be “reality tv stars” and wannabe jersey shore celebrities talking about things to kadjey no one ever has before it’s not good for any of us talking about things we don’t even do anymore! there actually posting applications to be on new “gypsy” themed shows on tlc.com it’s a shame this is the idea the world is getting of us and how we are as a whole race, it’s no better the the one they had in the old days, we are falling apart as a people and shows like this are only making it happen faster i’m afraid something needs to be done to take these fake shows off the air asap im not in it for the money i want no money from this, i just don’t want to see our race be lied about like this, other shows are coming out soon trying to portray us to be like the mafia with kings and queens and etc, it’s all lies were just like any other race, our main concern is our families and that is exactly what tlc’s and thelma nadine’s “my big fat gypsy wedding” and other shows like it are trying to destroy our families safety and future! please take this show off the air we do not want it here in the usa or anywhere for that matter!

  65. Nicole :

    also one last thing the whole “grabbing” thing our young people are not allowed to date period not until engaged and even then it’s seldom! if a boy did that to a girl there would be a riot at what ever event or function it happend at families would get involved the girl would be shunned and the boy AND HIS FAMILY would be banned from all other events and functions this is not how we are, husbands and wives people who’ve been married for years don’t even hold hands infront of other roma let alone this “grabbing” thing tlc made up! we are a very respectful people what we call Lagove tlc and thelma should learn about it and have some! also TLC have some respect your name stands for the learning channel it used to be one of my favorite channels to watch now it’s just reality trash! maybe you should put some of your awesome research team on the task of renaming the network since you no longer educate viewers with facts, your basically just making it up as you go along.

  66. FACT: there are 600-800 FEMA concentration camps in the USA


Leave a Reply