There has been a wave of anger and frustration that Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches: The Truth about Traveller Crime’, shown Thursday 16th April at 9.00pm, once again perpetuated crude racist stereotypes and generalisations under the guise of a serious documentary.
ACERT and other organisations have been wary of cooperating with C4, especially since Big Fat Gypsy wedding did so much damage. Pauline Anderson, Chair of the Traveller Movement, contributed to the programme and made a strong case for educational inclusion and opportunities, but her contributions were cut with footage which effectively undermined and contradicted what she had said.
For those of you who saw the broadcast, you’ll know it was an unbalanced and damaging portrayal of Gypsy and Traveller people which has set excellent community cohesion work back by 20 years. Since the broadcast aired, we’ve seen an alarming spike in hate speech against Gypsy and Traveller communities on social media. Given that Gypsies and Travellers already experience very high levels of racism and discrimination, this is indeed worrying and totally unacceptable.The Travellers Movement request for solidarity and support
If you saw the programme you may wish to make you views known:
– Tweet your condemnation, tag Channel 4 and Ofcom. Please also tag TTM (@GypsyTravellerM) and use the hashtag #AfterDispatches
– Write a letter of complaint to Channel 4. Submit your complaint online here: https://www.channel4.com/4viewers/contact-us
– Lodge a complaint with Ofcom – you can submit the complaint in the link below. It only takes a few minutes. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/how-to-report-a-complaint
The Traveller Movement has issued a press release at: