Albanian comedy shows feature blackface, prejudice and stereotypes about Romani people
"The Albanian anti-Romani comedy shows broadcast by television stations nationally portray Romani people as unappealing, alien and untrustworthy persons," says lawyer Xhenon Cela of two television programs inciting hatred of Romani people in particular, the Portokalli program on Top-Channel and Al Pazar on the Vision Plus channel. The programs mock Romani people's character as well as their accented Albanian and are followed by the general public, which makes no secret of how amusing they find the content, at which they frequently laugh uproariously.
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has published an article on its website drawing attention to this phenomenon. "While elsewhere in Europe, white actors in blackface for the purpose of entertainment is unacceptable, in these Albanian shows all of the Romani characters are played by white actors with their faces painted dark brown, which I consider unacceptable," Cela emphasizes, also expressing the conviction that these Albanian television shows, especially their comedy programs, have to change their approach to entertainment.
"Romani people consider the designation 'gypsy' so unacceptable as to be derogatory," Cela said, referring to an Albanian saying that while the spoken word has no bones, it is strong enough to break actual bones. Marian Bogdan, a Hungarian media theoretician who studies modern racism, says both visual and written media are able to contribute in negative ways to manipulating the public in its relationship to the Romani community.
According to Stuart Hall, a British-Jamaican sociologist, such depictions mock difference and should be perceived as a cultural phenomenon that creates unhealthy relationships in society as a whole. Cela points out that shows such as Al Pazar and Portokalli contribute to creating a false image of Romani people with the aim of entertaining audiences, however unaware of this they may be.
These stereotypes and prejudices contribute to denying the humanity of Romani people who deviate from social norms. "What is worse, though, is that hate speech and dehumanization can eventually result in human rights violations and violence," Cela emphasizes at the close of the article.
A similar anti-Romani show can also be seen in the Czech language through the Facebook social networking site under the name "Jútuber Jožka". The company has refused to block those racist videos despite being called upon to do so repeatedly.
- Romani child actor from The Painted Bird rejects tv role in the Czech Republic of "bad g*psy child"
- COMMENTARY: Romani actors should refuse to perpetuate stereotypes in Czech television programs
- Czech commercial television station broadcast racist jokes on Christmas, broadcast council warns they broke the law
- Patrik Banga: Social media is depriving us of context and driving us all crazy
- Romani community opinion divided over new Czech Television sitcom with Romani characters
- Albania: Romani people left without citizenship anywhere
- Roma Children in Albania Fight Discrimination through Literacy and Language Skills Training
- Albania Joins the Roma Decade
- CNN: Czech Republic has discriminated against Romani refugees from Ukraine, updated data refute the myth that they all hold dual citizenship
- Czech research finds one-third of Romani refugees from Ukraine have experienced discrimination here, most children are not in education, dual citizenship has not been "abused" by them
- Hungary's Jewish Community protests PM Orbán's racist speech in which he said Hungarians don't want to become a "mixed-race" nation
- Czech volunteers say second-largest city has broken its agreement by closing camp used by Romani refugees from Ukraine near Grand Hotel
- New handbook describes how to intervene against daily hatred and racism in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands
- Czech local candidates who quit the "Mayors and Independents" party have secured enough signatures to run as independents
- All candidates for the "Mayors and Independents" party in Czech town are quitting to run as their own group after mayor is told not to run for espousing racist violence
- Czech mayor must either withdraw his candidacy today or be delisted as a candidate by his party ahead of local elections for his racist advocacy of violence against Romani people
- Czech party calls on mayor to withdraw from local election over racist approval of violence against Romani people
- Ukrainians are not the same as Syrians: On double standards for refugees, Czech aid, and breaking the rules while doing good
- Chair of the Czech Pirates says mayor who made racist remarks should be removed from the candidate list "like garbage"
- Chair of Czech party says he expects local cell to call on mayor to withdraw from election in response to open letter protesting the mayor's racism