Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Profile: Martin Henderson

Today's scheduled profile has been thrown off the rails a bit by the amount of disability in the news this week. Like Peter Dinklage at the Golden Globes, i wish to draw attention to an event that demonstrates just how hard it can be for an ambitious person with a disability to make their way unheeded in the world.

Martin Henderson, an aspiring actor and a Little Person, played a goblin in two of the eight Harry Potter movies. But if you google his name with search parameters that limit your query to all items posted before January 13th 2012, you don't find much of anything. Henderson's Google results will always hone back to three days before Peter Dinklage gave him a shout out on Sunday night, to an inciden reported in the Telegraph on the 13th.

Last October, a month after English Rugby player Mike Tindall was shamed for allegedly participating in a "dwarf-tossing" contest in a bar in New Zealand, Henderson was injured by what he believes to be a copycat attack. He wasn't a willing participant, however. This is not the time to talk about why some Little People are forced by circumstance or society to participate in being thrown around for others' enjoyment. This is about why a man having a cigarette outside of a pub can be subjected to such treatment, without safety gear, or even his consent.

Many wonder why, if Henderson's injury is now showing to be so life-altering, he didn't bring attention to it earlier. I point to my Google search. I point to the fact that Henderson probably did not want to be associated with the occurrences of dwarf-tossing that still happen all over the world. He more than likely didn't want this to be all the information available about him, any more than I wanted to have my first profile piece focus so hugely on such a horrible setback for a person with a disability.

But now that he's found himself having difficulty finding acting jobs due to partial paralysis, he and Peter Dinklage are speaking out to make sure this injustice doesn't happen to anyone else. And so am I.


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