Pub under fire for holding 'midget-tossing' event
Dwarfism is a condition which is estimated to affect between 1 in 15,000 to 1 in 40,000 people, Medicine Plus reports.
The condition, which can vary significantly in severity and form, has been notoriously stigmatized, with many terms offensive to those affected still used in everyday language, such as "midget".
So, understandably, an Australian pub has come under fire for holding a "midget-tossing" event, similar to the controversial one held in the 2013 blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street.
The implications of such events hardly need explaining; in its very nature, "midget-tossing" implies that people with dwarfism are somehow less than those of average stature.
The proposed event was to be held at The Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle, New South Wales. It was named the "The Wolf Of Watt Street" and included "midget-tossing" as part of the festivities.
The "midget-tossing" game involved throwing a person with dwarfism at a target of sorts; if it was hit, the thrower would be rewarded with a free drink.
Needless to say, the event was immediately slammed by social media users, with its hosts subsequently claiming that they had no intention of using people with dwarfism for entertainment, but had planned to use dolls instead.
Management said in a statement given to the ABC: "We are extremely sorry for any offense or reference to our Wolf of Watt St event, with tossing of any people [sic]. We had no intention of doing so and this was a misguided comment, in reference to the film."
Alicia Jenkins, Paralympian and former national secretary for the Short Statured People of Australia, said: "I was probably more than gobsmacked. It is horrifying, it is gut-wrenching, and I suppose my disappointment and my disgust is really hard to put into words.
"It still appears that dwarfism is the last disability that people seem to think it is OK to mock and it is just wrong.
On a daily or weekly basis, I have people mocking me on the street, trying to take my photo, calling me midget and laughing and pointing at me."
Hopefully, the backlash from this incident will discourage anyone else from holding similar events in the future - even if they are in jest.