17 Jun, 2019 @ 12:12
1 min read

‘HE LIKES IT’: Benidorm bar responds to claims that midget stripper advert was a ‘hate crime’

A BENIDORM bar has responded after a prominent dwarfism foundation accused it of a possible ‘hate crime’.

Felipe Orviz, lawyer for the Alpe Foundation, suggested the bar had contravened ‘human rights’ and called for Benidorm town hall to revoke its license.

It came after Chaplin’s Bar, popular for stag nights and hen dos, wrote ‘Wanna rent a midget??’ on a street-front blackboard.

HATE CRIME?: Sign outside Chaplin’s Bar in Benidorm
HAPPY LITTLE CHAPPIE?: Antonio dressed as Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin’s manager, Manual Nieto, told the Daily Star that Antonio, who suffers bone dysplasia, was ‘very surprised’ by the commotion.

Nieto said: “He does it because he wants to, because he likes that job.”

“He has been on the premises three or four years, and he is very comfortable.

“His mental health and intelligence is exactly the same, or better, than anyone else’s, so that no one believes that he is exploited.”

The Olive Press previously revealed the dwarf is rented by partygoers and handcuffed to stags or hens while they’re not looking.

Antonio can be rented in a variety of costumes, such as a hula dancer, policeman, sailor, Mexican wrestler, Charlie Chaplin and dressed as a woman.

Nieto denied any discrimination was taking place, and insisted Antonio’s work was ‘that of a showman’.

Social media users also rushed to his defence, with one insisting Antonio was ‘a great laugh’.

‘HE LIKES IT’: An advert outside Chaplin’s Bar showing Antonio’s various costumes

Orviz, however, said: “We have been fighting for more than 20 years to eradicate any kind of spectacle based on the denigration of this group.

“We started with the bullfighting comedians, and now that we have managed to reduce them, we find ourselves more and more with these other erotic and pornographic shows that are also reliant on mockery.”

Cermi, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities, also slammed the bar in a statement.

Spokesman Jesús Martín Blanco said: “Mockery and derision causes direct effects on all those that have this disability and deepens the stigma of people with short stature, who are treated as jesters.”

‘JESTERS’: Antonio during a live show at Chaplin’s Bar in Benidorm

Benidorm travel agency and party organiser Benidorm Weekender told the Olive Press that Antonio was ‘only doing what everybody else does and making his own money’.

A spokeswoman said: “If someone wanted a dwarf we would of course ask first, it’s not like he’s forced into it.”

Dwarfs at another Benidorm bar, FK IT, can make up to ‘200 euros’ an hour, the Olive Press previously revealed.

‘NOT FORCED’: Antonio with a hen out Chaplin’s Bar in Benidorm

Antonio could not be reached for comment.


Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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