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S&S defends Will & Kate "gypsy" wedding book
23.05.11 | Lisa Campbell
Simon & Schuster has defended its publication of Will & Kate’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding as “fun” and “gently humorous” after Tesco withdrew the book from sale, following complaints.
The supermarket pulled the title after the Romany Women’s Union (RWU) claimed the book is racist towards the travelling community. However, other retailers are continuing to sell the book, which ridicules the royals by depicting the royals as gypsies and is a spoof of the Channel 4 television series "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding".
Josephine Smith, president of the RWU, told the Metro: “You just wouldn’t be able to get away with this with other communities. I got in touch with Tesco because the book was discriminatory to our people. 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.”
However, a spokesperson for Simon & Schuster said: “Will & Kate’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is a fun and gently humorous book that was published to coincide with the success of the gypsy TV series and excitement and goodwill surrounding the Royal Wedding.”
All 2,000 Tesco stores pulled the book “immediately” after the complaint was made. However, Waterstone’s and W H Smith told The Bookseller they has not received any complaints and are continuing to sell the book.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “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.”
A spokesperson for W H Smith said: “To date we have not received any comments from our customers regarding Will and Kate’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We aim to strike the right balance to meet the needs of all our customers and we will continue to monitor customer feedback.”
A Waterstone’s spokesperson said the store had received no complaints and had not been asked to withdraw the book by Simon & Schuster. Sainsbury’s said it did not sell the book and has no plans to and Asda is yet to respond to requests for a comment. The book is still available for sale from Amazon.co.uk.