The reality show community faces shock by another tragic loss. TLC stars Bill and Joe Smith recently passed away. The twin brothers, 32, died of an apparent joint suicide in England over the weekend, TMZ reports.
The twins briefly starred in the show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. It aired on TLC from 2011 to 2015.
Twin Brothers Appeared on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Season 3
The show explored the culture of Irish Traveller families. For instance, the younger generation searched for suitable matches for marriage. The show originally aired as a British documentary that later aired on American’s TLC network.
The show led to a spin-off series on TLC. My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding ended in 2018 after six seasons. The original show ran on TLC for just three short seasons.
Joe and Bill Smith appeared on the show’s 3rd and final season. One of the show’s episodes featuring the twin brothers is available on YouTube.
Former Co-Star Pays Tribute on Social Media
Paddy Doherty is an Ireland native. The former boxer was interviewed for the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding documentary. He later went on to win the British version of Celebrity Big Brother 8.
The reality star took to social media to honor Joe and Bill. In a video captured by Mirror Online, Paddy referred to the deaths as a “terrible, terrible tragedy.” He went on to refer to the brothers as “two angels” in his heartfelt tribute.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Sparked Controversy
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and its American spin-off faced backlash from the Romani Gypsy community.
The Gypsy community is many different ethnic groups. The Irish Travellers and the Roma Gypsies are the most well-known.
In some instances, the TLC show identified an Irish Traveller cast member as “Romani Gypsy.” However, this was done instead of casting an authentic Romani Gypsy.
Promotion videos for the show appear as racially insensitive to the Gypsy communities. Further, some took issue with their culture and ethnicity being exploited for the television audience.
Another aspect of the show that caused ire was the glitzy weddings of teenagers. In Gypsy cultures, girls often marry at the young age of 15 or 16. The weddings feature extravagant and provocative dresses.
TLC no longer airs My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. However, episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding are still available to stream online.
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