Qristina Cummings: A 'Big Fat' and very offensive wedding show

Hunter and Dalton Smith are getting married on TLC's "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" in Native-inspired clothing. The groom Hunter claims Native ancestry, Indian Country Today reported. Image from Starcasm

Qristina Žavačková Cummings, an author, educator, and activist, explains why the use of the word "Gypsy" and shows like TLC's "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" are offensive to the Romani people:
Today, throughout Europe and other parts of the world, we are still being persecuted, attacked, driven from our homes, and corralled in ghettos. In fact, Roma are widely considered to be one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Because of the inaccurate and offensive history of the word “Gypsy,” the name that many of us prefer is Roma (or Romani), a word taken from our own language that means “people.” By choosing to use the word ‘Gypsy,’ TLC, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and Sondra Celli are demeaning and belittling our culture, as well as perpetuating inaccurate and negative stereotypes. They have defended this by insisting that participants in the show are comfortable using the word to describe themselves, even though they are not representative of all groups (perhaps even any groups) corralled under the word “Gypsy.”

They have repeatedly ignored our feelings about it and have chosen instead to stress the work and views of someone who is not Romani and who does not understand the broad cultures that exist within the umbrella of our people.

I am highlighting these issues because my community and culture are dishonored and demeaned by TLC, this show, and Sondra Celli on a regular basis. Many Romani here in the U.S. have strong ties and kinship with Native communities. In fact, we share similar histories and continued oppression and racism.

Please understand that we too are a real

Get the Story:
Qristina Cummings: TLC’s ‘Gypsy’ Wedding Is Offensive to Romani, Too (Indian Country Today 7/13)

Also Today:
Headdress Defended by TLC Wedding Designer: Groom is Native, Bride is Native-Inspired (Indian Country Today 7/11)
Native Headdresses in TLC’s ‘Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding’? (Indian Country Today 7/9)

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