A Benidorm disco-pub popular with British holidaymakers is facing an investigation over a controversial customer offer which says ‘wanna rent a midget?’
State prosecutors in Alicante have been asked to probe Chaplin’s bar near the resort’s Levante Beach following claims it may have committed a hate crime.
The investigation was launched following a complaint from Cermi, an umbrella organisation representing people with disabilities in Spain, about a street sign outside the nightspot and online ad.
Chaplin’s Disco Pub, which is the focus of the complaint, has traditionally attracted a mainly British clientele with acts including a ‘midget stripper show’.
It boasts on social media it shows “the best range of naughty cabaret Benidorm has to offer” and posted footage of a man with dwarfism in a G-string on a hover board last year.
In a message published on social media at the height of last year’s summer season, the nightspot said: “Our midget stripper show is on at 1am every night at Chaplins bar.
“Also available to hire for your stag/hen do’s. Want to handcuff your stag to a midget? You can at Chaplins.”
State prosecutors are understood to have been asked to take action by Cermi last week.
A spokesman for the umbrella organisation told Spanish newspaper El Pais: “Mockery and taunting has direct effects on the group that suffers this type of disability and increases the stigma for people of short stature, who are treated as clowns.”
Felipe Orviz, a legal advisor for the northern Spain-based ALPE Achondroplasia Foundation, which supports families and children with a form of short-limbed dwarfism called achondroplasia, said he believed the nightspot was in breach of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
He is raising the issue with the local and regional councils, describing the practice of hiring out people with dwarfism as “denigrating” and likening it to the rental of Down syndrome sufferers.
No-one could be reached for comment early this morning at Chaplin’s, which is not the only venue offering British holidaymakers entertainment involving people with dwarfism.
Local firm Fk It, which runs Miller’s Bar, also offers dwarf hire online with an ad targeting British hen and stag parties that says: “They just love this. Let us handcuff your stag, hen to a mini Superman, policeman or other hero or little villain.
“We are based in Benidorm and are the only provider of little guys in Benidorm.
“Our little guys speak perfect English and are ready to rock your stag or hen party.
“Our little guys are also professional actors, most appear regularly on TV and in feature movies such as Star Wars.”
It also offers punters the choice of “little guys” in costumes including “tranny, Superman, police and leprechaun.”