Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Get ready to rumble

There is a guy named Grady who is part of the Dwarfism Yahoo Group listserve. He plays an important role on the listserve. He posts scores of media hits that involve people of short stature. Whether the hit comes from a mainstream newspaper, a major television network, or some random person who uploaded a video to youtube from a camera phone, Grady will post it. It's sometimes hard to wade through the material he posts, but Grady is a great resource.

He recently posted at least one piece about the reality show about the little people wrestling troupe scheduled to air on Spike TV starting on June 2. One the hooks of the show is that the centerpiece of the program, a wrestler who calls himself puppet, embraces the word midget and uses the word heavily as a marketing tool. As I think I've written earlier, I am a little concerned about the message of the show, especially with all the work done over the past year to stop use of the word midget. But I am also a bit fascinated with the media coverage leading up to the reality show debut. I am interested because most of the media talking about the new show, including Spike TV, is stepping back from the word. When reporting about Puppet, though he likes to be called a midget, the media is not using that word to identify him. From what I have read, this includes Spike TV. One would hope the media wouldn't, considering thousands of people have expressed anger over the word while just a handful embrace it. But nevertheless, I thought spike TV would promote the show like a wrestling agent promotes his or her client.

I thought maybe I was reading too much into the media. Maybe I was the only who believed Spike TV and others are stepping back from Puppet's persona, and reviewing the show objectively, using the most acceptable language. It turns out the Grady concurs. Along with the media links, Grady often posts a little description with what can be found on the link. And sometimes, he offers a bit of commentary. When he posted a link about the upcoming reality show, Grady wrote a comment that corresponds to what I believe. That Spike TV, rather than promote the Half Pint show the way Puppet would promote the show, is being somewhat objective.

Here is a promo piece about the show from a publication called the Post and Courier . Contrary to what I write above, this piece actually does use the m word a bit, but only when referring to wrestling troupes that include little people. The piece also includes long quotes from Puppet.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a fan of the M word being thrown around so blatantly and I find it very offensive. This is just as offensive to Italian American community as Jersey Shore was using the word "Guido" to describe themselves. If Spike and other networks let Puppet use the M word, then we are going to continue to struggle with this commonplace misnomer that is offensive and a slight to everything we're doing to stop other people from using it. If people see a little person using the word, then they are going to think it's ok to use it in their daily lives. I am not ok with this and hope no one watches this show.