NSW venue apologises for advertising “midget-tossing” event

An iconic venue in regional NSW has been left red-faced after copping a wave of criticism over the promotion of an event it was planning to host this month.

The Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle had been advertising a Wolf of Wall Street-themed event on 21 September, with a promotional video and poster encouraging people to sign up for “midget-tossing”, according to ABC News.

“Hit the target and receive a FREE DRINK!!” the poster said.

Great Northern Hotel event poster
A poster promoting Great Northern Hotel’s event (source: Facebook)

It was obvious that the venue’s reference to “midget-tossing” was inspired by a scene from the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, which shows characters betting on who can throw a person of short stature and hit the bullseye on a novelty target.

Unsurprisingly, the promotional material for the pop-up casino event prompted a severe backlash from social media users and disability advocates over the weekend, with some calling it “poor taste”, “completely unnecessary” and “just wrong”.

The promotional video and all details for the event have since been taken down online, and ABC News reported that the hotel’s management has since apologised for the promotion, along with “any comments and sadness this has bought to the community”.

“We are extremely sorry for any offence or reference to our ‘Wolf of Watt St’ event, with tossing of any people,” the statement read.

“We had no intention of doing so and this was a misguided comment, in reference to the film.”

Management at the Great Northern Hotel also said it was only planning to let patrons throw a doll at the target, rather than a real person.