Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea Handler recently made comments and jokes on The Rosie Show which have upset and saddened little people.
O'Donnell said she had a "fear or anxiety of little people," and both she and Handler likened little people to children. And now the stars of TLC reality show "Little People Big World" have spoken out.
In an interview with Today.com's Randee Dawn, Amy and Matt Geist of "Little People Big World" discussed the two comediennes' comments.
Matt Geist said "we think we've made a lot of progress [dispelling negative stereotypes of little people] and then we saw [O'Donnell and Handler's comments], and I thought, 'gosh we still have a lot of work to do.'"
His wife, Amy Geist, was hurt by O'Donnell and Handler's comments and jokes. Amy explains how the comments affected her. "It plays on you, I was taken back. I was sad really to hear that from somebody," she said.
However, both "Little People Big World" stars were proud of the progress that has been made in their work as little people advocates.
Matt said, "I think we've made a lot of progress over the years." And he pointed out that there is a wide network of support for little people, saying, "Our show is just one in many, a lot of people have done a lot of work over the years to help educate people."
Amy felt the offensive comments showed just how important little people advocacy is. She pointed out that the situation, "does give us a chance to validate what we have done, [and] what other people have done."
Though she did add that she is well aware "there's still more work to do" to dispel negative stereotypes of little people.
TLC's reality show, "Little People Big World," originally went off the air in 2010, but the show is coming back for four special episodes. It will air on TLC Sundays at 8:00 p.m.