Granted, the second episode reports that 90 percent of Traveller land requests are rejected, and it shows Travellers being evicted from their trailers camps.But the back-story offered is simply that the local council had instructed the residents to leave and they had refused.
In their view, “Gypsy”—a term many Travellers and Roma find derogatory—culture apparently need not be understood in a historical or pan-European context.
Rather, it is sufficient to see it almost exclusively through the lens of parties: the clothes worn (or not worn, as the camera seems to gravitate toward women’s bare midriffs), the color schemes, the people attending, the mode of transportation used to get there.
A 2006 article in the journal Comparative Economic Studies noted that the Roma’s “unemployment rate is 100 percent in some rural areas” and still high in heavily populated areas, while The Economist has reported that “West Europeans …
tend to believe that Roma migrants are responsible for an epidemic of pickpocketing, shoplifting, mugging—and worse [crimes].”None of this seems to matter to Channel 4 or TLC.
To watch “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” is to see Travellers and Roma as uneducated, flashy, and closed-minded people who live in mobile-home parks and throw enormous parties.