Here in the full-sized offices of The Curmudgeon, we think that various groups who “demand” they are referred to as this or that, or that a particular word is never used, are quite often overly sensitive. Such is the case with little people and their recent cry to the FCC asking them to ban the use of the word “midget.”
What particularly outraged the wee little things was an episode of The Apprentice in which a contestant proposed that in an advertisement for detergent, midgets would be bathed in the detergent and then hung up to dry. They were offended. Actually, I agree with them that it was offensive, but it wasn’t the use of the word “midget,” but rather hanging them on a clothesline that crossed the line. There’s a lot of that stuff on television, but while we are hearing from a group called “The Little People of America,” we are not hearing from the tiny folk who get these jobs. Maybe they are happy for the work and it’s okie doke with them.
To be honest, I have never found midgets particularly funny, either the people or the name, and do in fact think that many of the things for which the miniature men have been employed are in very poor taste. Midget tossing contests comes to mind, the bar craze that went around several years ago. I felt so strongly about it that I canceled a television show I was producing at the time called “Bowling With Midgets.” But again, the offense was in the activity, not the name.
So little people, I say chill out. Of course I’m sure many of you don’t agree with me and would gnaw my ankles if you had the chance, but am I guilty if I don’t think you’re funny, but rather real people with real feeling just like me? No. I don’t think so. Embrace the word “midget.” It’s your very own word and it’s been around since 1865, and not all of you have embraced your agenda. Actor Herve “The plane, The plane” Villechaize insisted on being called a “midget” as opposed to a “little person.”
So mix yourself a cocktail in a Smuckers jar and relax.
Let’s end the depictions, but long live the word.