The Daily Telegraph is always a good source of inspiration, but today’s headline dwarfed anything I could have imagined. The tall story was gigantic.
“Dwarf actors row as Shrek show hires 6 ft man to play character on his knees”
It took me a moment or two to find out what was going on. The English language being what it is, I had visions of a boat full of dwarfs rowing along a quiet river. But no, this was far more serious — I read on.
“Gradually dwarfs are being frozen out of stage productions in favour of taller actors on a lower salary.”
The dwarfs weren’t rowing, they were rowing. Not ‘paddling a boat’, but ‘engaged in a quarrel’ — they were angry at theatres and film makers using cheap substitutes for real dwarfs. They weren’t actually freezing and so had no need of the BBC film crew who were in hot water this week for rescuing some penguins who really were in danger of freezing to death. In a controversial action, the crew dug steps to let the penguins and their chicks climb out of a ravine where they had become stuck. Cameramen for nature programs are supposed to observe but not interfere, something like the US did during the Holocaust.
This was not the first time that full-sized actors have pushed their smaller colleagues aside. Readers with short memories may have long forgotten the 2012 fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman. The Dwarfs were played by actors of average height who had their faces digitally transmuted onto small bodies. This caused a protest from the Little People of America, an organization which supports people with dwarfism.
Interest in celebrities, short or tall, reached new heights with the founding in 2004 of Celeb Heights, a website for those obsessed with the feet and inches of the famous. There is much discussion of people like Tom Cruise — who was recently dropped from the Jack Reacher franchise for being “too short”.
But nowhere could I find an explanation to the real question – why are taller actors short-changed? Why do lowly dwarfs get higher salaries? This goes against all we know about the ways your height influences your destiny in life. In the US, for example, a recent survey found that taller candidates for President tend to receive more votes.
As a general rule, taller men and women are considered to be dominant, healthy, and intelligent, they also earn more money. So why do tall actors get the short-end of the stick? It’s a very short-sighted attitude.
So, my dear reader, time to get off your high horse and hightail your way to Amazon, where, low and behold, in short order, you will find the highly-rated, low-cost Len Palmer Mysteries – that’s not a tall order!