#WheresOFCOM? Traveller group and campaigners urge action over “toxic” Channel 4 Dispatches show following months of delay

Press Release

 

Immediate release

Date: 26th of November

 

Channel 4 Dispatches’ “The Truth About Traveller Crime” programme that aired 16th April 2020 has since been widely condemned as racist - and prompted hundreds of complaints to broadcasting regulator OFCOM. 

OFCOM opened an investigation on May 26th. Under the broadcasting regulator’s own guidelines, this should have been completed in 50 working days. Yet 6 months on, OFCOM has neither published its decision nor responded to requests for an explanation of the reason for the delay.  

The Traveller Movement today urges OFCOM to explain its inaction over the Channel 4 Dispatches programme widely condemned for fueling racism towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people by promoting harmful stereotypes based on spurious data. 

“This hateful programme has had real negative consequences for Traveller people’s lives. Travellers and Gypsies around the country have contacted us about losing business and having been racially abused by neighbours after the programme aired. Online hate against Travellers has skyrocketed. We are asking OFCOM to deliver their decision and truly hope it will be in our favour. If Channel 4 Dispatches is not held responsible for their attack on these ethnic minorities, what kind of message does it send to the rest of the media and the wider society?” 

Traveller Movement, together with campaigners are urging supporters to call out OFCOM over its inaction, using the #WheresOFCOM hashtag. 

 

ENDS

 

Contacts

 

Patricia Stapleton

policymanager@travellermovement.org.uk

 

020 7607 2002

 

 

Notes to Editor

 

* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.