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Little People Sue 'The Soup'

They Defamed Us!

3/29/2011 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A  dwarf couple is suing E! Entertainment and "The Soup" host Joel McHale, claiming they made scurrilous, false, defamatory and hurtful comments about them.

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Cara and Gibson Reynolds are dwarfs who struggled for years to have children. One child died a day after birth, but they were finally able to conceive a healthy baby. 

The Reynolds' did an interview with the Associated Press about dwarf couples who want to screen their embryos for genetic defects in an effort to intentionally have healthy, dwarf children.  They say the article and photo of them was limited to the AP article (reprinted on MSNBC.com).

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Fast forward to 2009, when McHale and company did a spoof on "The Soup" titled, "Fertile Little Tattooed Pageant Parents Who Enjoy Baking."  McHale said it was the newest reality show, and then proceeded to show the AP photo of the Reynolds, saying they are "happy dwarfs ... that can't stop procreating." 

And it got worse.  "The Soup" then allegedly showed a woman purported to be Cara in labor, in the process of giving birth in a bathroom.

Cara claims the piece was so upsetting, she suffered, "depression, insomnia, upset stomach, sleep interference and experiencing feelings of shame and degradation."

The Reynolds are suing for defamation and invasion of privacy.

We could not immediately reach E! for comment.

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119 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
106.

jwoolman    

Bubbles The Chimp at #56: ""...healthy, dwarf children"???? Isn't that an oxymoron. "

No, there are different forms of dwarfism. You can be healthy enough with some of them. Being short is not a disease... All is relative, anyway. Just as lefties have trouble in a world dominated by righties - the problem is primarily adjusting to a world dominated by taller folk. These people obviously feel they are healthy and happy, and hope the same for their children. Remember that if you toss out the dwarfism genes from the gene pool - you are also tossing out all the other genes carried by their parents, not necessarily a good thing.

These people are most likely much healthier than I am. I was begifted with various long-term physical problems as a result of my genetic heritage. Should I not exist?

1304 days ago
107.

jwoolman    

t at #64 "Joel was making fun of ALL TLC programming, the fertile part refers to the people in Arkansas with 19 kids and counting, pageants was obviously about "Toddlers and Tiaras", tattoos was about the Kat Von D lady, and on and on. It wasn't a knock on them it was making fun of TLC!"

Yes, I remember that episode also. That's why I'm surprised they used an Associated Press interview photo rather than the huge number of photos available from TLC shows about such folk. Maybe somebody just messed up royally, taking a photo from the wrong source.

But regardless - these people were hurt by it because they just weren't on tv or on TLC and don't have the big TLC bucks to compensate them for becoming targets for such parodies. They were blindsided. The Roloffs might laugh it off, but they knew what they were getting into when they let the cameras into their lives. These people didn't sign up for the same thing when they agreed to an interview.

The Soup should just admit their mistake, apologize to the family, and pay out some money to say "sorry" in a concrete fashion. Maybe offer to make a donation to some organization helping couples with fertility problems, then they wouldn't be setting a precedent about payouts to the individuals (although they should offer to pay any legal bills incurred so far). And check their sources more carefully next time... If you're parodying TLC, make sure you show a TLC picture! They've got plenty of material on TV, no need to start raiding other archives.

1304 days ago
108.

jwoolman    

I just read the article from the link provided by a previous poster. Cara was briefly quoted (a short sentence or two) in a much larger article. I doubt very much that they were paid for it.

The article said they had decided to adopt a dwarf baby. So y'all can stop self-righteously yelling at them now.

1304 days ago
109.

phishgirliu    

When people go on TV or reality shows, they have to know they run the risk of getting media attention. Isn't that what they wanted? So some media outlets took humor as their way of talking about them. You don't see the families and couples from all the "Little people" shows on TLC suing The Soup for getting more time in the spot light! Hell, some of the clips they show of the TLC shows are WAY more embarrassing and WAY more "mean" in their commentary. Get over it. The Soup is a comedic show. They make fun of TV clips. If you can't take the attention, DON'T GO ON TV!

1303 days ago
110.

Not an idiot like the rest of you    

Greedy little midgets. Classic list of 'emotional distress issues' people use when they want some free money but have suffered no real damages.

1303 days ago
111.

Gsharon 710    

I sure hope some of these postees are never chosen as jurors . They either cannot read, conprehend, or neither. Useless as a door at a burned down house.

1303 days ago
112.

Mario Lerario    

Vertically Challenged? Meet Litigiously Exposed.

1303 days ago
113.

dmanphx    

people just seem to be a little sensitive. the smallest thing causes them to sue. we should all learn to laugh at the tiny things that cause us discomfort. The diminutive comments are a pint sized nusiance. Picayune comments only affect us minusculy. and that is only when we allow our pocket sized self image to be affected

1303 days ago
114.

J.E.M.3901    

I think this is one of the most assenine stories i have heard in a long time. If these people want to be treated normally than act that way. Now there saying its a disablity give me a break. Joel Mchale is one of the funniest comedians on T.V. and thats what The Soup does you either get or you dont.

I Hope The E! network and Joel
Mchale win this case!

1303 days ago
115.

prilly    

Really? Depression and insomnia over what Mchale said? In all honesty, I think thats a bit much. He makes fun of anyone. Thats his job... or one of them. Anyways, would i seem a bit crazy if i said that i would love for Joel Mchale to make fun of me? xD that would be awesome. Just seems like someone is trying to make a bit of money to me.

1303 days ago
116.

Rod    

Who knew that little people had short fuses? You'd think they would be big about it. It's actually quite a little nest egg for their little one if E! decides to make a small settlement to keep it out of court.

1302 days ago
117.

Elizabeth    

For those of you who have seemingly failed to read this article, THE REYNOLDS DO NOT HAVE A TV SHOW. THEY HAVE NOT PUT THEMSELVES ON TV AT ALL. They provided an interview and for the AP. AP photos can be used by other sources IF THEY APPEAR WITH THE ARTICLE.
The Reynold's have been taken advantage of. I cannot believe that the Soup and E! would find ANYTHING funny about using the picture of two parents who lost a child in a parody where they are represented as having many children. And depicting Cara giving birth in a bathroom?! Honestly?! That is just disgusting.
And to all the people who are posting hateful comments on here, you really need to grow up. I am honestly embarrassed for all of you.

1302 days ago
118.

Viv    

Just because this couple have done an interview with the Associated Press does not make them public figures. The couple were having trouble conceiving, which is painful enough, and McHale turned that around and mocked them as people who "can't stop procreating"? I think it's cruel harassment and hope the Reynolds' won their lawsuit.

86 days ago
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