NEWS

Andre Arruda video sheds light on harassment against disabled people

11/11/2014 07:04 EST | Updated 01/11/2015 05:59 EST
A Toronto comedian born with a genetic disorder that left him just over three feet tall has filmed a video showing the harassment he faces daily on city streets.

Andre Arruda, 31, has Morquio syndrome. Arruda is just over three feet tall and often uses a scooter to move around.

Arruda decided to enlist a friend to help him film a typical stroll on Toronto's streets on his scooter, during which he endures dozens of comments, stares and insults from pedestrians.

"This one time at the supermarket, this parent just grabbed his kid and went, 'Look at this guy,' and just paraded me like I'm some kind of circus act," Arruda says.

During the three hours of filming, Arruda says he received more than 100 harassing comments and hundreds of stares.

In the video, a stranger calls him "leprechaun" and he's twice referred to as "Mini-Me," which is a reference to a short character from two of the Austin Powers movies.

"He's so small" and "he's so cute" are two more comments that people can be heard making to Arruda.

"Can you tie my shoes, man?" one person asks after calling Arruda "Mini-Me."

Arruda says he was inspired by a similar video made by Shoshana Roberts, which showed her walking for 10 hours in New York City and receiving about 100 cat calls.

"This type of harassment is out there. It's not just geared towards women," he says. "It's geared towards so many people who are just perceived different."

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