BROOKLYN, N.Y.: Little People of America is petitioning the FCC to add the word “midget” to the list of what cannot be uttered on broadcast television. The LPA, which represents people with various forms of dwarfism, is urging its 6,000 members to file complaints with the commission over the use of the word in an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice.” A letter was circulated during the group’s annual conference last week, describing the offending incident:
“On April 05, 2009 the NBC network aired an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ which was degrading to people of the LP community. On the show, Donald Trump challenged this crew of B-list luminaries to come up with a viral video campaign for All laundry detergent. Playing on the product's ‘small and mighty’ slogan, Melissa River’s team came up with a video entitled, ‘Jesse James Dirty with Midgets.’ During the two-hour program, things seemed to go from bad to worse! Not only was the word ‘midget’ used in a derogatory way a dozen times, other comments were made to further degrade people in the dwarfism community.”
Those comments included a suggestion launder little people with All and hang them on a clothesline. LPA implored producers to start the next episode with a statement about the word “midget” is received in addition to a promotional blurb about LPA. Producers declined and LPA turned to regulators, who would have to deem the term indecent based, in part, on community standards. LPA therefore urged its members to complain en masse.
“In order for this type of material to be considered obscene, indecent and or profane by the FCC, it needs to be seen as such by many people. We ask that you join in our efforts and file a compliant on behalf of every member of your family.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams
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