Tesco pull 'racist' Royal Wedding book which showed Prince William and Kate as gypsies
- Tesco pull 'racist' Royal Wedding book which showed Prince William and Kate as gypsies
By Anuji Varma, Sunday Mercury
22/05/2011 - A BOOK poking fun at Prince William and Kate Middleton by depicting them as gypsies has been pulled by Tesco over claims it is RACIST to travellers.
All 2,000 supermarket stores, including hundreds across the Midlands, have shelved copies of Will and Kate’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding after a complaint from the Romany Women’s Union.
The picture-led book shows the newly-titled Duchess of Cambridge donning a garish pink meringue dress, whilst her groom wears a trashy white suit and a cheesy grin.
A mocked-up picture of the Queen is also featured – behind the reins of a traditional rag and bone cart. A doctored snap of hubby Prince Philip shows him rolling up his shirt sleeves to reveal his latest tattoo.
Yet despite being a big hit with the public, a Tesco spokeswoman has confirmed that the £6.99 book has now been removed from all of its stores because of complaints.
President of the Romany Women’s Union Josephine Smith, 35, said she was delighted at the decision.
“I got in touch with Tesco because the book was discriminatory to our people,” she told the Sunday Mercury. “I explained why and pointed out the pages in question.
“There is having a laugh and a joke, and there is taking it too far.
“You just wouldn’t be able to get away with this with other communities, like the Jewish.
"To be fair, Tesco has been excellent but now I am working on getting it removed from Waterstones and Amazon.
“I am confident we will succeed with them as well.”
A Tesco spokeswoman said: “It is never our intention to sell products which may offend and as soon as we became aware of concerns regarding this book, it was immediately removed from sale.
“It is not for us to say whether something is offensive. It is all about the community and what they would consider offensive.”
Brothers Alex and Rory Scarfe are authors of the tongue-in-cheek book, which also depicts Prince Harry in a bare-knuckle fight and a bejewelled Fergie being led away from Buckingham Palace by cops.
It was published before the Royal Wedding and had followed on from the huge success of Channel 4’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
The TV programme was a massive hit with the general public, although sections of the traveller community claimed some of the scenes had been hammed up for the cameras.
The Romany Women’s Union has since been working to dispel the stereotypical view of gypsies – including staging a beauty pageant for traveller girls.
Mrs Smith said: “We are not tarty, stay-at-home housewives as portrayed in the TV show.
“Our aim is to find someone beautiful and proud of who and what they are.”
Alex and Rory Scarfe were unavailable for comment last night. Publishers Simon & Schuster refused to comment.