National Geographic’s “American Gypsies”: Resources

If what you see in the following documents concerns you,
then please help us ask for an explanation from
John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society.
Just click Like to join our virtual campaign:

332 more people like Dear John: Let’s Talk but we can’t include their names.
(They’re either not on Facebook, or they’ve asked to remain anonymous.)
If you’re in the same boat, please email me
alan [at] societymatters [dot] org
and I’ll increase the total tally by one.

Summary: American Gypsies is a new 9-part series on the National Geographic Channel. The series title — as well as its tag line (“You don’t know Gypsy“) — suggests the shows will be National Geographic’s portrait of a people. Instead, say community leaders, the series, which focuses on a single family in New York City, is slanderous, degrading, and possibly illegal

Promotional interviews for the series suggest American Gypsies is a window on another kind of Mafia. “It’s like The Godfather,” says Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio, the series’ executive producer. “We have Sonny Corleone, we have Michael, we have Fredo.” Episodes overflow with violence, conflict, and profanity. And the word “gypsy” is actually an epithet; members of the community have long asked to be called by their proper name: Roma. (If National Geographic ever produced a show called American Nigger, American Kike, or American Wop, the public would be outraged. Which is why community leaders wonder: Why the silence about American Gypsies?)

A new organization called Rromani Zor is organizing a class action suit to hold National Geographic responsible for all damages which this TV show has caused or will cause. 

Rromani Zor is also calling upon John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society, to (a) cease broadcasting American Gypsies immediately, (b) never again distribute the program, and (c) issue a public apology to the Romani people.


1st letter from Roma community to National Geographic

Ian Hancock & Kore Yoors: 1st letter to NGS


2nd Letter from Roma community to National Geographic

Letter from Ian Hancock & Rromani Zor to John Fahey, NGS CEO


Press Release

Press Release re: “American Gypsies”


Reviews & Opinion

  • Deplorable,” says the New York Times
  • The lowest form of television,” says the Los Angeles Times
  • From Mona Nicoară in The Guardian: “I have seen this dynamic before. I grew up in an atmosphere permeated by the kind of stereotypes about violent, dirty and scheming “Gypsies” that abound in Europe. I am ethnically Romanian and grew up in Romania, where Roma were enslaved until the 1860s and deported to extermination camps during the second world war. The few who remained nomadic were forcibly settled during communism. Then, many were chased out of villages during violent, deadly pogroms in the 1990s. To this day, Roma children are shunted into dead-end segregated schools which trap them in the vicious cycle of poverty and disenfranchisement.”
  • More coming…

Roma Online

Links to posts here at Society Matters

Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation & National Geographic


More to come…


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