Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great that Chelsea Handler employs dwarves on both her late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, and her sitcom, Are You There, Chelsea? That’s super.
But this interview with Rosie O’Donnell is a little much.
“I’m a little ashamed about it … [but] I have a mild fear or anxiety around little people,” says O’Donnell. She then asks Handler if Handler has ever slept with a little person.
Handler responds, “No, that would be child abuse. I’d never do that.”
Which is apparently part of O’Donnell’s problem. “I can’t put the two things together. This is an adult person, but it’s a little person, but they have adult… it’s so hard for me.”
“I love little people. Whatever you have, I have the opposite. I want to tackle them. I see them and I have to hold myself down. I bite Chuy sometimes. He comes into my office and he’s so cute. That’s my ultimate body, if you’re going to have a little person. I want that shape, the corpulence,” says Handler.
Um, wow. Like, there is nothing wrong with having a sense of humor, but uhhhh. These “humorous” comments overstep into “pretty repugnant.”
The article at Pop2it struggles to assess which viewpoint is “worse”: Rosie cops to being outright phobic, but is the way Handler fetishizes and exoticizes little people even creepier, maybe?
Not surprisingly, Little People of America has taken umbrage with both comediennes’ remarks:
LPA has a bigger problem with O’Donnell’s comments, because O’Donnell attributes her feelings to heredity. “My Nana was afraid of the ‘Wizard Of Oz’ munchkins,” O’Donnell told Handler.
[Spokesperson Leah Smith] says the comedian is perpetuating “fear-based attitudes.”
“Instead of perpetuating these fears, let’s learn how to accept differences,” Smith said.
…Smith said the group is angry, but doesn’t plan a boycott of either performer.
“We’d rather start a discussion and deal with the issue head on,” she said. “No other group is marginalized like this.”
Dude, you know who comes out of this whole thing looking awesome? Leah Smith does. Low-five, LPA.