I want to mention a gentleman I'm thinking about in England. His name is Martin Henderson. Google him.
Dinklage, who won Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for Game Of Thrones, made Henderson an overnight celebrity of sorts after name-dropping him at the award ceremony on Sunday night (15.01.12). When Henderson found out he was shocked that such a person would know of him and the trauma he has recently suffered.
After Dinklage mentioned the name, Martin Hendersen was a trending topic on Twitter and millions of people googled his story within 24 hours.
Martin Henderson, like Peter Dinklage is a dwarf, and stands at the same height of 4'2". Henderson was in the news at the end of last year because he was victim to an attack, which is thought to have been inspired by bizarre activity dwarf tossing.
Henderson was celebrating his 37th birthday at his local pub and popped outside for a cigarette. Whilst out there a male, suspected to be around 5'8" grabbed Henderson from behind, lifting him 3 feet in the air and then dropping him on the floor. Henderson went to hospital later that evening suffering from numbness in his legs and back.
Henderson has Achondroplasia dwarfism and spinal stenosis, and in 2010 had undergone surgery on his spine to relieve him from pain he had been suffering from fo a while and had prevented him from working. He had just about recovered from the surgery and was getting back to normal life when this assualt occurred, putting him right back in the same position he had been in before, needing a frame to walk with, and a wheelchair for long distances.
Henderson had been an aspiring actor before his previous medical problems and he had hoped to return to the profession once he had recovered from his surgery, but now is unsure if he will be able to work in the industry again. He had appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Although this assualt is a terrible thing to have happened, and the health problems that Henderson has suffered from as a result are inexcusible, you can't help but think of shows the Golden Globes host, Ricky Gervais, has co-written in the past and think this sounds like a story line from one of them. His most recent hit was co-written with Warwick Davis, a dwarf who has Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Cogenita, and has become a popular actor in recent years in roles such as Willow, the lead character of the self-named show, multiple Harry Potter characters, and Extras, written also by Ricky Gervais.
Extras prides itself on the awkward humour that everybody can associate with, not necassarily for doing the things Gervais does on the show, but for being able to see how it spirals out of control, and an easily explainable situation becomes so far expanded to make it less awkward that it becomes even more so. Davis starred as himself in the show and in a memorable scene gets kicked in the face by Gervais. The act was a complete mistake, which the viewer knows, but everybody else present thinks it was a malicious attack.
It's from situation comedy like this that the trauma Henderson lived through can appear as amusing. However, a reason it is funny in the show is because it is an extreme look at what can happen, and you laugh because you are pretty sure it never would. It's wrong to think anybody would ever take the things that are scripted and comedic in a TV show and live it out for themselves in a malicious way, and it seems that is the sort of thing that has happened with Henderson.
Gervais and Davis have worked together recently on a show called Life's Too Short, which is based around Davis player a different version of himself, and it's a look at what life as a dwarf could be like. It does make you wonder whether having comedy shows like this are a gateway of sorts to abuse for dwarves, but with Davis at the writing helm, it surely can't be a negative show. Davis had often quipped that being short doesn't have much impact on his life, and where he can h makes light of the fact that he is different from everyone else. He wrote a biography called Size Matters Not, and has said that one of his favourite roles he has played has been Leprechaun.
One of the things thought to have inspired the yob that assualted Henderson was seeing the England rugby team going to a club while in New Zealand for the World Cup where an event called Mad Midget Weekend was occurring. It is unknown whether 'dwarf tossing' actually occurred that night, but Henderson feels like he deserves an apology from the team for making it seem like dwarfs are figures of fun.
The England team are yet to apologize publicly yet, but perhaps with the extra publicity from Dinklage, Henderson might finally get little bit of justice for the trauma he has been through.