Written by Executive Producer, Toby Faulkner
Being invited to document the life of any contributor is always a privilege, but when they’re Rom, you realize what an honor you’ve been granted. This is whole race of people who have fiercely guarded their privacy for thousands of years… and now we’re being granted access. I hope it’s as amazing to watch as it has been to film.
So many of their traditions can be seen in other cultures across the globe, that I think anyone watching can recognize themselves or their family in the Johns.
It’s fascinating that there’s a whole race of people who live and work among us, but who we know so little about beyond hearsay and gossip. Rom are in every county in America, but do you know a Gypsy or Roma person? Many don’t admit to their heritage for fear of prejudice. It’s a sad and shocking admission.
So much of the Romany culture is oral – passed down from family member to family member. With so few written records, I’m glad that in some small way we can help this one family tell their story and in doing so educate the audience watching at home. Believe you me; this family is way more skeptical of us Gadjo (non-Gypsy people), than we are of them. Let’s hope by the end of this series, we can inject some reality into everyone’s perceptions while still presenting an entertaining hour of television. We can but try.
Catch the premiere of American Gypsies: Rivals at War on Tuesday, July 17th at 9P et/pt.