Monday, November 20, 2006

A Small Complaint


Does anybody else think it strange that Home Depot features Little People dressed as Santa's elves in its commercials?

While it's highly unlikely that any of these guys will get leading man roles in movies or television,* and allowing for the fact that residuals from commercials are easy money, a lot of easy money, I still wonder why they would choose to capitalize on their particular individuality in this way.

I'm happy to see people get work, but it also makes me cringe since this work depends upon a condition, dwarfism, which used to be considered a deformity but is quite rare now in developed countries as it is readily treatable with growth hormones. Just how does this latest foray into show biz differ from being in a circus sideshow? Is it the fact that "midgets," as they were once called, were openly ostracized in the circus as opposed to being more discreetly ostracized as Home Depot Christmas elves?

The word "midget" is now politically incorrect, having been replaced by "Little People," and has a pejorative connotation. So, now, does HOME DESPOT and the advertising genius who came up with this highly offensive campaign.

* One notable exception is Tom Cruise.

23 comments:

Christina_the_wench said...

LMAO @ the crazy Cruise comment. God, I use to drool over him in the Risky Business days.

Haven't seen the HD commericials yet, but not cool, not cool at all.

Dan said...

I see so many strange things wherever I look I guess the midgets ... er ... little people kind of just escaped my radar.

Incidentally, my friend calls it Home Despot as well. You're only the second person on earth (I think you're on earth, right) who has called it that. ;)

Anonymous said...

Midgets and dwarves are actually different, not that it changes your argument but the differences are kind of interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midget

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarfism

Anonymous said...

Which one is Tom?

The Law Fairy said...

heart, I have an interesting story about the hiring of "elves." Someday I might get the courage to post it, but as it is right now, I'm worried about revealing my identity. Suffice it to say, sadly, law partners are not immune from such backwards stupidity as this.

Pickled Olives said...

Lowes and Target, man! They are the superstores to go to. Just one step classier, that's all I'm saying.

urban-urchin said...

I call it Home Despot too!

The Tom Cruise comment is priceless- he is a small man isn't he? A crazy crazy little man....

Odat said...

ahahahahahhah...at Tom Cruise comment! Maybe Home Depot should use his jumping up and down on the couch as an ad!
I understand that the "Little People" reality show was cancelled.
I was so looking forward to that, NOT!
Peace

urban-urchin said...

O/T: To bold in Blogger try posting in a different browser. I use Firefox- there is a little toolbar that appears on the top of the post window that allows you to easily bold words along with other things.

I would have emailed this but I don't have your address.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Christina,

He was never a favorite actor of mine because
(a) not a very good actor
and
(b) not that good looking.

But he totally creeps me out now.

Dan,

Maybe your friend and I are the same person, but we're not telling you.

Anonymous,

Right you are. Dwarfs are disproportionate while "midgets" are just unusually small, but I decided not to get overly scientific since as you said, it wouldn't change my argument.

Thanks for sharing this information.

They're ALL Tom. Btw, the muscleman is the famous Tom Thumb. Must be something about the name.

Law Fairy,

I'll bet you do. I'm guessing that someone who was qualified didn't get hired, and also that your firm doesn't do Employment Law.

If I'm right, that's just wrong. I hope there was a law suit.

Olives,

Point taken. You know, I've never seen a little person working at Home D. Only in their tacky little Christmas commercials.

Urchin,

So now we're triplets -- you, me and Dan's "other" (heh heh) friend.

Odat,

I heard that, too. I yawned.

You should send your couch-jumping idea to the network. Of course, Oprah would get a cut since it was on her show.

I wonder when they'll come up with a Tom Cruise doll. You wind it up and it jumps on couches. They call it "Cruise Control."

Urchin,

Thank you! I use Safari, which doesn't have that normal (you'd think) feature. I'll see what I can do because I feel almost struck mute w/o italics, boldface, etc.

My e-mail address is flusy@sbcglobal.net. Maybe I should post it on the site.

Starrlight said...

Excellent Cruise Slam! And a nice blog too!

Lex said...

I think it's a little strange, but it isn't the only such casting that bothers me. I always cringe when I see an actor play a particularly obese role, since we know why they were cast in that role. I feel horrible for the person who plays the "ugly duckling" for the same reasons.

I watched an episode of House this week and they clearly used make-up and such for the 650 pound patient. You could tell his little fingers were rubber. That made me feel a lot better about it.

What do you suggest? Using kids to play elves?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Starrlight,

Thanks for your visit. I checked out your blog and it's great. I'll be back often, now that I know you're there.

Lex,

Yes, exactly. Children are the right size, and always appealing.

Of course, I would hate to deprive deserving Little People of a job with residuals.

I can't watch Ugly Betty for the reasons you state, although the actress isn't really ugly, just an exaggerated "before"candidate for a makeover.

curmudgeon said...

I reckon they could always force Cambodian children to do the job instead of making shoes.

Or use CGI and put real actors out of work.

Seriously, people do the job they can do. If a midget decides to be an actor, well, just how many other roles are out there?

thethinker said...

The Little People reality TV show that Odat referred to was like The Bachelor for little people, basically. And then, towards the end of the show, they threw in a bunch of tall models for a twist. But I promise, I didn't watch that show.

roonie said...

I've not seen such commercials, but this post makes me happy that I watch very little TV.

Cece said...

I must not watch enough TV because I haven't seen the HD commercials! I'll be on the hunt for them now.

mist1 said...

I thought those were real elves.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Curmudgeon,

Cambodian children make shoes?

How do you know this stuff? The ravens feed you, don't they?

Thinker,

Oh, I believe you, I promise.

Roonie,

I don't watch much TV, either, so this commercial must be getting a lot of airing.

Cece,

You may not have to hunt very hard. See above. Tell me what you think when you see it.

Mist,

Real elves are bigger.

Lee said...

Wow, with all the Cruise-haters out here...well who's left? How's he still make money? I've boycotted his movies for years, not for anything other than they totally suck.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I don't hate him. I just think he's a ridiculous, pompous little twit. (Oh, it's you. Twat.) He's a bad actor, almost grotesque-looking, and I abhor Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard hated gays, blacks, Jews, and women. With all respect, what's to like?

I was surprised to hear that Brooke Shields was at the slaughter, um, wedding, after he reviled her for taking prescription drugs for post-partum depression.

Oprah didn't go, though. Yay, Oprah. She was probably waiting for her couch to come back from the reupholsterers.

Crankster said...

It's funny that you should post this right now. My sister and I are working our way through Carnivale. One of the major characters is a "little person," and we are consistenly amazed by the quality of his acting. I was just wondering if it would ever be possible for him to get a job without stunt casting.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Crankster,

Probably not. It gives a whole new dimension to the idea of typecasting, doesn't it?

I haven't seen the show, but it sounds quite interesting so I'll check it out.