Ronan Farrow Daily   |  April 30, 2014

Changing how pop culture views little people

From Game of Thrones to Miley Cyrus' VMA performance, little people are reshaping their place in the zeitgeist, but what's affirming and what's exploitative? Hollis Jane joins to discuss.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome back. lifetime will soon begin airing a new reality series called " little women los angeles " show casing performers and celebrity impersonators who are little people . the show made controversy about how our culture views those people. little people were curiosities. in the 19th century , general tom thumb was an entertainer. in 1939 mgm hired 124 munch kikins in "the wizard of oz ." things are changing. peter dinklage has won an emmy and golden globe . he recently graced the cover of "esquire" magazine. that includes hollis jane , a former backup dancer for miley cyrus who said she felt like a prop when she performed in a bear costume during miley's infamous vma performance. hollis xbran, thank you for coming back.

>> happy to be here.

>> with this new show coming out, i wanted to get your take. do you think using these performers perpetuates a freak show atmosphere? should they be showing little people in a more normal light?

>> i think that's what the show is striving to do, " little women of los angeles " i think it's called. they asked me if i would like to be a part of it. i turned them down. i'm trying to be an actress in l.a. reality isn't the way i would like to go. the issue with reality in shows like this is they want the ratings. so they want the fights and the negative and everything like that about certain shows, especially with the real housewives .

>> which doesn't portray anybody in a good light.

>> right no one looks good. this show, it's really how they decide to do it. they could go the route of a little couple, a wonderful reality show about a couple that are little people .

>> more a sensitive portrayal.

>> it shows their day-to-day life. that shows we're no different. if you take it and go to the real housewives and go with it.

>> you see them here. it does seem like this is less likely to be a sensitive nuance portrayal.

>> they are trying to veer toward the real housewives . this is going to be juicy and scandalous.

>> which is particularly risky when you have a minority group of any kind.

>> my dad was a motivational speaker , on the radio in detroit. i was raised in the sense that i may be the only little person someone sees their entire life. anything i do or anything i say, they may take that and go i met a little person once, she was really rude.

>> you feel a responsibility to fly a flag for little people ?

>> right. i'm not saying i'm the only one. i think anybody who is a minority who might be different should be aware that anything they do could be taken and used against them.

>> what's the biggest obstacle that little people face in terms of how they're portrayed by the entertainment industry ?

>> i think it's the whole idea that we're just meant to be jokes. it's kind of strange. it's a joke that -- i may be biased -- but i don't particularly find it funny. someone is short.

>> get over it.

>> exactly. it's no the that funny. with the entertainment industry it's just the idea of seeing us as the same. things like that.

>> we've been asking our viewers all week to explain why they think they're beautiful and changing standards of beauty. why do you think you're beautiful, hollis jane ?

>> oh, god. sorry. i was not prepared.

>> well, let me tell you why. you're lovely. you are funny.

>> i like to think i'm funny.

>> you have rallied for this cause. if you're in a position where you're flying a flag for a lot of people, that's a tough burden to bear.

>> thank you very much. i really appreciate that.

>> thank you for that hollis jane .

>> absolutely. thank you for having me.

>> look forward to having you back.

>> absolutely.

>>> our call to action this week focuses on the definition of beauty. we're asking you to answer that same simple question. why are you beautiful? record your answer and send us the video or in a pinch a selfie with a caption. use #beauty on facebook, via e-mail or twitter. here's a tweet, it's my sense of style in a hospital gown . good luck, jeb. keep them coming, everybody. send us more videos. we'll look at your responses all week.