It was surely only a matter of time before someone got officially offended by Channel 4’s latest advertising campaign for flagship documentary series, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.
The posters screaming “Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier.” have now been complained about by The London Travellers Unit, with two members writing into the Advertising Standards Agency to document their anger at the “racist” slogan.
“We wonder if Channel 4 would have been so ready to use adverts with similarly compromising phrases for other ethinic groups: ‘Jewisher’ or ‘more Asian’ or ‘Blacker'”, the members raged in a letter to Channel 4 executives.
Compaints also extended to the tone of the new series (which is pretty much the same as the last but…well…”gypsier”) with members companining that the programme was guilty of portraying “damaging, derogatory” stereotypes which are harmful to the travelling community.
John Biggs, a member of the London Assembly, said: “The simple transposition is to a race issue. If you were to say this is my Great, N***** Wedding, it would be considered simply unacceptable”, he said.
Biggs may have a point but, speaking on Radio 4’s Front Row programme on Monday night, producer Jes Wilkins defended the show’s content saying: “There will always be people who get offended but the communities we work with are overwhelmingly supportive. They actually come up and ask us to film them.”
Channel 4 has gone on to say that the word ‘gypsier’ reflected the unparalleled ‘insight’ of the new series.
“The word refers to the fact that this series offers even greater access and insight to the communities featured and the terms ‘gipsy’ or ‘gipsier’ are not being used in a negative content”, a spokesman said.
Almost 6m viewers tuned into the new series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, which aired on Channel 4 on Tuesday night. Whatever message is being given out by the series is certainly reaching one big, fat British audience. *gulp*
Do you think the Big Fat Gypsy party should have come to an end last series? Has Channel 4 gone too far this time?