I have dwarfism. I was 13 when Verne Troyer hit our screens as Mini-Me in Austin Powers sequel . The character was a compound of stereotypes of people with dwarfism. He was hypersexual, unintelligent and aggressive. He was not even a character in his own right but a replica of another, average height role. Like dwarf performers in circuses of days past, his character only existed in contrast to others.
In one scene, Mini-Me appears in a sling strapped to Mike Myers’ chest, like an infant. In the follow-up film, Goldmember, another character threatens to eat him because he “looks like a baby”. Throughout the series he serves as Dr Evil’s biddable pet. I imagine few who watched it know that like this – abusing, ridiculing, and, sometimes, even killing them.
Jeebus, that’s exactly what was being parodied.