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Little People: "Midget" Just as Bad as a Racial Slur

Little People: "Midget" Just as Bad as a Racial Slur

The group Little People of America wants the FCC to ban the word "midget" from television, claiming that the word is just as offensive as a racial slur. The community maintains that "midget" carries a history of objectification of people who have been used as a visual gag because of a physical difference.

An episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, which aired this past Spring, has prompted the latest call for a ban. During the episode, contestants suggested washing "midgets" in All "small and mighty" detergent, and then hanging them out to dry. One contestant said: "They know that people point and laugh at them and they are comfortable within themselves and they have fun right back."

Whenever I see commercials or movies treating little people as props rather than people, I wonder two things. First: does anyone actually find it enjoyable to laugh at people just because they're different? And second: why is it still acceptable to ridicule little people in a so-called "politically correct" society that allegedly discourages degrading people for characteristics or circumstances they cannot control?


Do you support a ban on the word "midget"?

Source: Flickr User Alan Light's

Join The Conversation
sham28 sham28 8 years
Annie875, thanks for offering your experience. I understand that it is important to promote compassion and tolerance, and that de-humanization takes many forms, often in the form of stupid, stupid humor.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Bella - I don't like the term "sorostitute," and most sorority girls don't. People still use it. Frat boys HAAAAAAAATE the word "frat," and people still use it. Some servers don't like the terms waiter/waitress, and people still use them. I feel like your reasoning would be great in a Utopian world, but that isn't the world we live in.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I think "midget" is an inappropriate and often offensive term, and since many little people don't like it, shouldn't that be enough for people to stop using it?
imdamoos imdamoos 8 years
I don't think you can really make that decision until you've actually been a little person.
staple-salad staple-salad 8 years
I think the most important thing to do in any situation is to be able to laugh at yourself. Everyone has something funny and odd about themselves, and everyone has something teasable... either physically or personality-wise. I've always thought that "midget" was just a branch of abnormal growth... like "dwarf" was one category, "midget" was another. "Midget" being the more fun one to say. And if this has to do with "making fun of people based on physical characteristics" or whatever, then we have to ban jokes about people with glasses from being on TV, or blondes, or burly women, or steriotypical nerds... Aside from hair color (and in most cases, glasses, and in some cases, fatness), these aren't changeable characteristics. And for the record: If I were a "little person" the first thing I'd do is sign up for a career in showbiz. Money, and being able to do some of the most fun jobs in showbiz? Sign me up!
imdamoos imdamoos 8 years
Weren't those munchkins?
FaerieBlu FaerieBlu 8 years
We were all brought up on hearing the word midget when we watched the Wizard of Oz for the first time and our parents said they are all midgets, and we thought how cute. I never knew this was a slur? Little people sounds more of a slur like your putting someone down.
mix-tape mix-tape 8 years
To be honest I never realized that midget was an offensive word. I just thought of it as another slang term. Thanks for bringing this topic up, I would never want to offend anyone. However, banning a word will not stop discrimination if the actions are still continuing on tv.
imdamoos imdamoos 8 years
There are many different types of dwarfism. Some of them cause disproportionate bodies, and some of them cause very small, proportional bodies. Medically, they're dwarves, but they prefer to be called little people, and they find "midget" offensive.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I mean Gidget was a girl-midget because she was short.
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
Skigurl brought up what I was thinking - I was under the impression that dwarves and midgets are not necessarily the same. Dwarfism is a condition which can cause disproportionate bodies/limbs and other physical conditions, while midgets are just really sort, but otherwise normally proportioned. Am I wrong in thinking this?
skigurl skigurl 8 years
dwarfs and midgets aren't the same thing
sham28 sham28 8 years
14, she SPECIFICALLY said "I really don't support the banning of the word," but doesn't like that the little people are dressed up in costumes riding tiny horses to make people laugh at them. If you think the only point at which we should raise an eyebrow is the use of "midget chicken sandwiches," that actually strikes me as more ridiculous. Additionally, changing the channel doesn't change an opinion.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
great, another post flagged
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
Political correctness is not tyranny in disguise Political correctness, in its most basic form, just means not being an asshole Are there little people that go on tv to be the butt of jokes and get paid cash? sure. and I will admit, I love watching Weeman on Jackass. But that doesn't mean every single little person out there wants to be the butt of jokes...looked at, laughed at, or picked up and tossed out of the blue (which I have seen happen at bars).
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
"Look, you can ban the word all you want, won't stop people from saying it. I'm short, I get called midget and I'm 5'3" and it doesn't bother me, so why would it bother a little person? " Um, I'm going to guess because you aren't actually a little person so you know it doesn't really apply to you. To me it would be like if someone called an Asian person a "sp*c" (don't know if that word is allowed on these boards) because they were tanned. That Asian person would just be like "What? Whatever" and roll it off because they aren't Hispanic, but call them something that does degrade Asian people and suddenly now it means something (and now they are mad). Just my two cents.
luckykarma luckykarma 8 years
Number 5, you are ridiculous! Its just a commercial! Its about mini buffalo ranch chicken sandwiches! They don't call them midget chicken sandwiches!! Get over it, change the channel when it comes on if you don't like it. Look, you can ban the word all you want, won't stop people from saying it. I'm short, I get called midget and I'm 5'3" and it doesn't bother me, so why would it bother a little person?
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Please people. A lot of black people have no problem with the terms colored or negro. It is not a majority thing, It is the fact that one group decided to make a decision on behalf of a group. The NAACP does not speak for me on every single situation so please do no generalize.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I don't get why my first post was flagged but whatever... I don't think it is necessary to ban it. One group does not necessarily speak for the entire cross section of America that it claims to represent. All African Americans don't dislike "negro" like someone previously stated but some do so it is used less frequently than "black" or "African American". Do the same for "midget". There may be some little people who are not offended by it. The LPA does not necessarily speak for for all little people so I don't buy it. We are going to unbelievable lengths to be PC and it is ridiculous.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Sorry, whenever I hear "little people" I think of the song from Les Mis, and that's far more terrible to me than the word "midget"
amelioratelj amelioratelj 8 years
I absolutely support a ban on the word. It's disgustingly prejudiced.
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