Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea Handler have offended Little People of America with insensitive jokes and comments made on O'Donnell's talk show, "The Rosie Show."
"I'm loath to admit because I'm a little ashamed about it, but I'm going to say it anyway: I have a mild fear or anxiety around little people," O'Donnell said, beginning the discussion of little people.
She then bluntly asked Chelsea Handler if Handler had ever dated or slept with a little person, to which Handler jovially replied, "No, that would be child abuse."
O'Donnell found some truth in Handler's insensitive joke, responding, "Well that's half my issue! What the problem is for me is that I think … I can't put the things together … this is an adult person, but it's a little person … it's so hard for me."
Chelsea Handler said she loved little people, referring to the as "little nuggets" and adding that she likes them so much that when she sees them she can barely keep herself from tackling them.
Handler also implied that her sidekick Chuy, who is a little person, would not have a job if it wasn't for her, saying "who else is going to give that guy a job?"
She also said that having Chuy around was "like having a kid."
Leah Smith, Little People of America Public Relations VP sent open letters to both stars expressing LPA's offence at the perpetuation of negative and untrue stereotypes about little people.
LPA was particularly hurt that O'Donnell implied that there is something frightening about little people. "Rather than advocating for tolerance, understanding and acceptance, you promote stereotypes and fear-based ignorance," Smith wrote.
LPA also took offense at Handler and O'Donnell drawing comparisons between little people and children.
"We find it extremely offensive that you participated in a conversation that referred to [little people dating non-little people] as 'child abuse,' and that [Handler] made reference to little people being 'like having a child' or being 'little nuggets,'" Smith wrote.
"Any limits to our full inclusion in society stem from this exact stereotype that we are somehow child-like," he added.
LPA's letter does not call for a boycott of either show, nor does it even ask for an apology. Rather, the LPA letter invites both stars to engage in conversation with them, stating that they "would like to take this opportunity to start a conversation about acceptance of diversity."
O'Donnell and Handler have not yet responded to Little People of America.