Family Life

Jen’s Blog: How We Got On TV

posted: 07/31/13
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Bill and Jen accept the Gracie Award for The Little Couple. It won for Most Outstanding Reality Show at the 36th Annual Gracie awards.
Betty Chu

By Jen Arnold

Even before the idea for The Little Couple show came about, Bill and I were approached by the production company, LMNO, to do a small piece for another show they were producing. We had considered it, but eventually said thank you, but no thanks.

LMNO was pretty persistent; we actually had to turn them down a couple of times. The biggest fear we had was that we didn't want anything sensational. Both Bill and I worked very hard at our careers and we didn't want to jeopardize that. When LMNO came back to us they pitched a TV series on our lives. We thought about it and were nervous because we were not entirely sure what that really meant.

As you can see we eventually said yes, but there's one moment that stands out in my mind, the moment that a light bulb went off. One day after LMNO pitched the TV series around our story, a little girl came up to me while I was shopping. She was probably about seven years old, but what this little girl said changed my entire perspective.

She said, "My goodness, you're a little person, like Little People, Big World." And I thought okay this is a sign because this little girl said the right word. She didn't say midget, a word many people in the little people community feel is very derogatory. She watched Little People, Big World, and it had obviously taught her something.

It really struck a chord that watching their show taught her to just come up and say something nice. It taught her to say hey, you're a little person, no big deal. And that's when I thought; okay this is a great opportunity.

Another funny part of this story is that I actually do know Matt Roloff [of Little People, Big World]. Matt and I met years before either of us had a TV show, it was at a Little People of America conference back when he was president of the organization. There's a book published about that conference that features a photo of Matt and a photo of me. In the book we are featured on the same page, but we are in separate photographs from the same conference. It's so bizarre, but kind of hilarious in retrospect.

I'm really appreciative of the opportunity to continue the awareness around our little people culture. Now of course we're very happy we made this show and we have no regrets.

Follow Jen Arnold on Twitter @JenArnoldMD

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