#WheresOFCOM? Traveller group and campaigners demand action from Ofcom one year after “toxic” Channel 4 Dispatches first aired

Immediate release

Date: 16th of April

 

It’s one year since Channel 4 Dispatches’ “The Truth About Traveller Crime” programme first aired on 16th April 2020.

Today Traveller Movement and Stop Funding Hate are asking Where’s Ofcom and when will their decision be published.

The programme was widely condemned as racist and prompted hundreds of complaints to broadcasting regulator OFCOM. 

OFCOM opened an investigation on May 26th. Under the broadcasting regulator’s own guidelines, this should have been completed in 50 working days. Yet OFCOM has neither published its decision nor responded to requests for an explanation of the reason for the delay.  

The Traveller Movement and Stop Funding Hate today urge OFCOM to explain its inaction over the Channel 4 Dispatches programme

The programme was widely condemned for fuelling racism towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and of promoting harmful stereotypes based on unsupported data. 

Traveller Movement, together with Stop Funding Hate are urging supporters to call out OFCOM over its inaction, using the #WheresOFCOM hashtag and #StopTravellerHate

 

CEO of the Traveller Movement Yvonne MacNamara said: “It is now one year since the racist show was aired and still no word from Ofcom. This programme led to a spike in online hate crimes against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and caused real distress and anxiety for young and old alike. People around the country reported losing business and being racially abused by neighbours after the programme aired. Online hate against Travellers skyrocketed.

We are asking OFCOM to deliver their decision and hope it will be in our favour. If Channel 4 Dispatches is not held responsible for their attack on these ethnic minorities, what kind of message does it send to the rest of the media and the wider society?” 

 

ENDs

 

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

policymanager@travellermovement.org.uk

 

Richard Wilson

richard.wilson@stopfundinghate.info

 

 

Notes to Editor

 

* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion. https://travellermovement.org.uk/

 

*Stop Funding Hate is a community-driven human rights campaign working to challenge media hate by engaging with advertisers. We believe that the best way to tackle hate and discrimination is by working together to oppose all forms of it. Stop Funding Hate’s overall goal is make hate unprofitable by changing the media business model which currently incentivises and rewards hateful “clickbait”. https://stopfundinghate.info/

 

Read Traveller Movement's press release from April of 2020: https://travellermovement.org.uk/news-news/129-traveller-movement-s-response-to-channel-4-s-dispatches-the-truth-about-traveller-crime