Traveller Movement issues statement regarding Channel 5 show The Town the Gypsies Took Over

“We are very disappointed that the production company Firecracker have chosen to make another ridiculing and mocking programme about Gypsy and Travellers. Yet again we see the cutting and pasting of their expert editorial team as they decontextualize the real story to push up their profits.  Starting with a provocative title “The Town the Gypsies took over”.  Appleby is one of the oldest Gypsy and Travellers fairs in the country and decreed by royal charter. Why not tell the real story here!  As before we strongly urge community members not to engage with production companies that are only in the business of ridiculing and hurting. Shows like these reinforce negative stereotypes and lead to a spike in racist abuse for Gypsy and Traveller people, both online and in person. If Firecracker want to learn what a good documentary consists of see Damian La Bass work for the BBC A Very British History – Romany Gypsies. Following My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, we received numerous calls from Gypsies and Travellers being denied services, wedding venues being cancelled, and a spike in racist bullying at school which still continues to this today. We intend to raise our concerns yet again with Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Agency and would encourage community members to do the same”