Teenager Takes On Racist TV ShowFebruary 20, 2012 No Comments
On Sunday a blog post by a 17-year-old Romany boy in the UK went viral.
It started when a journalist tweeted a link, which soon was picked up by hundreds. By late evening Pip, the teenage author, was reporting blog hits in the tens of thousands.
The post was an open letter to Britain’s Channel 4 (C4), calling foul on their reality series Big Fat Gypsy Weddings. Pip, who goes by the name Pipopotamus on his blog and tweets as @pipogypopotamus, called foul on the channel’s exploitation of travelling communities, in particular the channel’s willingness to exploit racist stereotypes and to present the crass and outlandish as the status quo, compounding the discrimination he already suffers.
Amongst Pip’s analysis of why C4′s program misrepresents traveller communities are tales of bullying directly linked to the airing of the show, of the reality of his family life versus the reality the channel claims to show.
The writer also makes a razor-sharp point about the sexualization of young girls on television. C4, he says, focus on what many consider the inappropriate sexualization of girls by their families and community, while ignoring their own role in presenting girls as sexual objects. He also asserts that his young, female cousin was assaulted while being called a prostitute during the most recent airing of the series, a fact which he links to the difficulties traveller children have in accessing education.
The blog post gained attention for its witty and mature content, and the young man who authored the post (and was PR’d-up by the end of the day) expressed both pleasure and frustration at the unexpected attention. Compared with the banal non-answer Pip received after C4 finally felt the pressure (which did not address the issue of sexualization of young girls), there’s a thrilling note of honesty and humour in the blogger’s work which make him one to watch.
Unlike dodgy reality TV.
Contact the author here: firstname.lastname@example.org