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USA: Petition to rename the "Gypsy" series warns of dangerous stereotypes

25.7.2017 5:49
A still from the trailer for the Netflix series
A still from the trailer for the Netflix series "Gypsy". (PHOTO: YouTube)

"'Gypsy' is a racist slur against Romani people who have suffered from slavery and genocide and who have been targeted by the Nazis in World War II. [...] By keeping the name Netflix is normalizing the usage of a racist slur," reads an online petition that currently has more than 1 900 signatures.

Romani people living in the USA have been irritated by the fact that one of the most recent serials produced by the popular online television company Netflix has been given this name to evoke passion and spontaneity. The series, which is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the director of the erotic drama "Fifty Shades of Grey", is dedicated to a story about a promiscuous woman who is a psychoanalyist succumbing to her own sexual desires (performed by Hollywood star Naomi Watts) and has nothing to do with ethnic Romani people.

"Our people have suffered for entire centuries because of defamatory, misguided and negative stereotypes connected with the term 'gypsy'," one signer of the petition posted. "The Romani community is constantly pushed to the margins, discriminated against, denigrated or worse. Because of what people believe the term 'gypsy' represents we have been enslaved, forcibly sterilized, and murdered during the Holocaust. There is no excuse for using this term, nota bene when referring to a series about the sexual quirks of a non-Romani woman."

Netflix is defending itself by saying the title for the series was inspired by a pop song of that name by the group Fleetwood Mac and is not aimed against Romani people. The petition, however, responds to that by stating that the term "gypsy" is pejorative in and of itself, irrespective of the context in which it is used, and goes on to say that particular pop song also unmistakably fetishizes Romani people and some aspects of their culture in a way the mainstream media tends to exploit in order to romanticize them.

Adéla Gálová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Diskriminace, Média, Petice, Romani people


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Slovakia: Debacle in elections for the neofascists, Kotleba out as Regional Governor

7.11.2017 17:32
Slovakia has directly elected Regional Governors and Regional Assembly members in the country's eight self-administering regions. Marian Kotleba of the "People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS), a neofascist, suffered a big defeat, losing to Jan Lunter by more than 20 percentage points and leaving his post as Banská Bystrica's Governor.
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Czech racists threaten online to kill children because they are of Arab and Romani origin

6.11.2017 11:40
The Czech Government's HateFree Culture website is reporting that a wave of racist reactions has been prompted in the Czech-language Internet environment by a photo of first-graders from a primary school in Teplice that has been published by a local daily. The photograph and the names of the pupils and teachers was published last week on a nationalist website, and hundreds of Internet users have shared it from there, frequently with racist commentary.
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Czech MP trafficks in poverty, exploits Romani people - who's the "parasite" now?

4.11.2017 21:28
Tomio Okamura and his "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party sharply objected, during their election campaign, to people who depend on social welfare in the Czech Republic. Candidates for the SPD called such people "inadaptables" or "parasites".
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