Petition for pub ‘The Midget’ to change its name

A petition has been launched to change the name of the Greene King pub The Midget’ after the term was highlighted as derogatory.

The petition against the pub, which is based in Abingdon in Oxfordshire has been started by Dr Erin Pritchard, a senior lecturer in Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University, who has contacted the brewery to request the name be changed.

According to the Disability Research Forum, Pritchard highlighted in her petition how the term midget is a derogatory word used towards people with dwarfism and is a term derived from the word ‘midge’ meaning Gnat or Sand-fly, which is dehumanising.

It was a noted that “the term was popularised during the Victorian freak show, but unfortunately continues to be used as a form of hate speech towards people with dwarfism”.

The disability research forum stated that Pritchard had pointed out how “people with dwarfism, including children with the condition experience name calling on a daily basis. Furthermore, children with dwarfism experience high levels of bullying. As a result, people with dwarfism experience are nearly three times more likely to experience mental health issues than the general population. Thus, it is important to remove a term that is part of this problem”.

The forum said that Greene King has claimed that the pub is named after the MG Midget car, however it also highlighted  that the phrasing of the pub name does not reflect this, especially whilst it omits ‘MG’ from its title.

Speaking to WLC, a spokesperson for Greene King said: “The pub was named after the MG Midget Car, which is from the iconic motoring brand in Abingdon, MG. As an inclusive business we want everyone to feel welcome in our pubs. With this in mind, and given the negative connotations of the word, we are assessing the current name.”

The forum reminded that “the origins of the name of that car come from freak show terminology, which is disablist hate speech and flouts the Equality Act (2010)”.

Pritchard added that, as a result, “Greene King should recognise the offence of the term and its implications. They have opportunities to celebrate the car manufacturing history of the area by using a more appropriate name, such as Riley or Austin-Healey”.

The petition can be signed online and welcomes signatures and support from people who agree that the brewery group should rethink the pub’s name.

This article originally appeared on the drinks business.

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