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*** UPDATED STATEMENT – FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2018***

In an updated statement, a spokesperson for RGA UK said:

“Our campaign has had huge support from across the dwarfism community and has been officially endorsed by Little People of America – the world’s largest advocacy and social organisation for people with dwarfism.

“At the time of issuing this statement we remain deeply concerned these shows are marketed as including ‘dwarf tossing’ and as having ‘sideshow appeal’. ‘Dwarf Wrestling’ is promoted on the basis of our bodies, just like we were in the side shows and freak shows of days past.

“What happens when groups of average height people who’ve been drinking and watching dwarf wrestling in bars and nightclubs then encounter a young couple with dwarfism in the street outside? What happens to children with dwarfism whose peers in the school playground have watched this spectacle?

“The choices of a select few fuel a negative stereotype that affects the entire dwarfism community. It’s 2018. It’s time we smashed stereotypes – not sustained them.”

ENDS

Notes

Screenshots – taken at the time of issue – can be provided to journalists on request.

Little People of America’s (LPA) endorsement of RGA UK’s campaign against the Dwarfanators’ Dwarf Wrestling show can be found here: 

LPA also provides members with a campaign pack so that they can protest against such events. See here: https://bit.ly/2ps9Xt2

 

*** UPDATED STATEMENT – WEDS 12 SEPTEMBER 2018***

In light of new evidence, Chair of RGA UK, Gill Martin said: “We remain resolute in our belief that such events are primarily about encouraging audiences to laugh at people with dwarfism and the spectacle of violence against dwarf bodies as entertainment for average height people.

“We are deeply disappointed to see ‘Dwarfanators’ direct visitors to their website to call people with dwarfism ‘m*dgets’ – which is widely regarded as a highly offensive slur.

“But our most serious concerns are about these shows openly admitting to ‘m*dget tossing’ – a brutal spectacle we believe encourages violence in real life. Studies with people with dwarfism showed 12% experienced physical violence. We believe such shows make the violence and abuse many in our community face more – not less – likely.

“We’re well aware these individuals chose to participate in this spectacle. But their choice sustains an insidious stereotype affecting the rest of us and our ability to choose our own self-image and lead the type of lives we value.

“And as long as these stereotypes affect our community – our families, friends, and children – we will speak out against them, and we strongly urge the UK venues that have booked this act to reconsider.”

ENDS

Notes

References to “m*dget tossing” can be found here and here. Please see screenshots below.

In 2011 Martin Henderson was picked up and thrown to the floor by a stranger. The attack left him paralysed. Click here.

Screenshot from Dwarfanators website.
Another screenshot from the Dwarfanators website.
The word “m*dget” appears throughout the Dwarfanators’ website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

RGA UK has learned that the “Extreme Dwarfanators Wrestling Show” – which often bills itself as “m*dget wrestling” – is touring the UK. Responding to the news, Chair of leading dwarfism charity, RGA UK, Gill Martin said:

“Victorian spectacle”

“Such shows are rarely primarily about genuine athleticism and regulated competition; they’re about making people laugh at the Victorian spectacle of people with dwarfism fighting each other.

“As most average height people meet few, if any, people with dwarfism in real life, such representations matter for they negatively inform people’s perceptions and behaviours towards the rest of our community – limiting our personal choice to shape our own lives and self-image.

“Academic studies with people with dwarfism show 12% had experienced violence and we know of horrific examples of this happening in real life. We’re deeply disappointed to see these venues choose to facilitate the spectacle of violence towards people with dwarfism as entertainment for average height people, and we urge them to reconsider and finally move into the 21st century.”

The word “m*dget” comes from the word midge or gnat, something you can squash with your thumb. It has strong historical associations with the Freak Shows of days gone by at which people with dwarfism were paraded and ridiculed. It is widely considered to be deeply offensive to most people in the dwarfism community.

We need your help!

RGA UK is urgently calling on these venues to reconsider their decision to host these outdated events. You can help us.

 

Contact the venues – tell them how you feel!

October 18 2018 – Coyote Ugly Saloon, Cardiff UK.

 

October 19 & 26 – The Foundry, Torquay

 

October 21 – Swansea, UK at Coyote Ugly Saloon

  • DETAILS TBC

 

October 25 – Corn Exchange, Devizes – CANCELLED

 

October 26 – Coyote Ugly Saloon, Liverpool

  • DETAILS TBC

 

October 27 – Morningside Arena, Leicester – CANCELLED

One thought on “RGA UK responds to news of “m*dget wrestling” events in UK”

  1. I am an average height person and I would not even dream of touching or abusing someone because of their physical appearance, whether it’s someone with dwarfism or otherwise.

    It’s troubling to read that people with dwarfism are subject to such abuse. It means there are a lot of nasty people out there that need to be educated and learn very basic manners.

    I am interested in this debate because both sides make very good points. As a libertarian, I naturally lean in favour of the people who want to wrestle. Could there be a compromise of some sort? For example, the wrestling events could be used as an opportunity to educate the audience about the abuse people with dwarfism are subject to.

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