But the back-story offered is simply that the local council had instructed the residents to leave and they had refused. Madine, who designs and constructs elaborate gowns for Traveller and Roma weddings and communions, admits to having been skeptical of the communities and their fashion choices when she first encountered them—implying, of course, that it is acceptable for the audience to feel the same way. By way of such details, the show often claims to be giving the audience exclusive access to arcane rituals that will illuminate Traveller and Roma life. But a quick Google search will reveal that many in the Traveller and Roma communities were outraged by these aspects of the show when it initially aired in Britain. Viewers are instead offered an overly simplistic view of the cultures of Travellers and Roma—two distinct groups, though the show happily conflates them into one category—with scarcely any historical or political context about their place in the United Kingdom and Europe more broadly.
Evalyn. Age: 27.
A re-broadcast of the British Channel 4 show of the same name that has attracted millions of viewers and widespread media attention, the series documents the lavish weddings, as well as engagements, first communions, and other milestone events, of Irish Traveller and Roma communities.
Mira. Age: 30.
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None of this seems to matter to Channel 4 or TLC. But the back-story offered is simply that the local council had instructed the residents to leave and they had refused. Granted, the second episode reports that 90 percent of Traveller land requests are rejected, and it shows Travellers being evicted from their trailers camps. Seyward Darby is the online editor of The New Republic.