Little People Ask FCC for Ban on the Word 'Midget'

Group spurred to action by Celebrity Apprentice episode

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 6, 2009 7:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Little People of America have filed a complaint with the FCC in an attempt to get the word “midget”—which people of exceptionally small stature see as demeaning—banned from broadcast television, Newsday reports. The LPA was moved to action by a segment on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in which contestants created a scheme for a detergent advertisement named “Jesse James and the Midgets”—featuring little people who were bathed in the soap and hung to dry like laundry on a clothesline.

"The word 'midget' objectifies you," Clinton Brown, 27, told the LPA conference in Brooklyn. "Growing up as a little person, because you're different, you experience the ups and downs of some cruelties and prejudices. How many times have people I don't know come up to me and wanted to pick me up?"

Zoli & Rolly, two dwarf clowns with the Wonder Circus, backstage before a performance at London's Olympia.
Zoli & Rolly, two dwarf clowns with the Wonder Circus, backstage before a performance at London's Olympia.   (Getty Images)
Actor Verne Troyer launches the new line of Micropets from Tomy June 14, 2002 at Toys R Us retail toy store in New York City.
Actor Verne Troyer launches the new line of Micropets from Tomy June 14, 2002 at Toys R Us retail toy store in New York City.   (Getty Images)
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It's not acceptable to call people the N-word, just as it's not acceptable to call people the M-word. The chosen term now is LP, or little person.
- Michael Petruzzelli, president of the Long Island chapter of Little People of America

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