In a recent interview on “The Rosie Show” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler got into a discussion about little people. It’s well known that Handler has a little person named Chuy on her talk show and that she refers to little people as “nuggets.” But it turns out O’Donnell is the opposite – little people make her anxious.
“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.
It’s kind of like she’s talking about her pet Corgi or something.
Leah Smith, a spokesperson for Little People of America, tells the Huffington Post that they are both offensive, in different ways. The organization has written a letter to both women.
“We decided to separate the two because they are both equally offensive, but separate. Handler used a lot of ‘pity rhetoric’ when discussing Chuy, saying he couldn’t get a job if not for her,” says Smith. “For the record, we’re not in need of ‘getting saved.’ We are capable of being successful in any job.”
Smith says that LPA has more of a problem with O’Donnell’s comments than with Handler’s comments, since Chuy chooses to be employed by Handler and go along with her schtick. Smith says O’Donnell is perpetuating “fear-based attitudes.”
“Instead of perpetuating these fears, let’s learn how to accept differences,” says Smith.
We actually think Handler might be the worse of the two in terms of marginalizing little people. She has almost fetishized them, whereas O’Donnell knows how she feels is not right and she wants to not feel that way, but she’s just admitting that she does.
Should she admit little people make her anxious on national TV? From a PR standpoint, probably not. But it’s not as if she’s making a joke out of it. She seems to be taking it really seriously as a problem that she has, not a problem with little people.
What do you think, Pop2it readers?