Both little people and money were meant to be tossed around carelessly, according to the protagonists of The Wolf of Wall Street… and everyone, except for the very rich, is a little person in their eyes. Wolf opens with a controversial scene of a person with dwarfism, clad in a helmet and protective gear, being tossed towards a target during a ribald Wall Street office party. (The dwarf actor was not credited in the film, but that may have been by choice due to backlash from the little person community.)
Of course, according to Danny Porush, the real-life inspiration for Donnie Azoff, nothing like that ever happened on his watch.
And while Porush admits the firm hired little people to attend and mingle at at least one party, “we never abused [or threw] the midgets in the office; we were friendly to them,” he emphasizes. “There was no physical abuse.”
Belfort says (through a representative) that he merely heard from several people that they were thrown sometime after he left the firm.
Whether Belfort and Porush are genuine tossers or not, they don’t get a free pass on the rest of the ableism depicted in the film. Witness the two trying to one-up each other:
Jordan Belfort: No, I get it, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you’re not afraid of like the whole kid thing, right? Like the whole…
Donnie Azoff: What, if the kid’s retarded?
Jordan Belfort: Yeah.
Donnie Azoff: No, we have two kids.
Jordan Belfort: And they’re… I mean, I don’t want to get personal or anything, but are they okay?
Donnie Azoff: No, they’re not retarded or anything like that.
Jordan Belfort: But there’s a big chance, right? The whole…
Donnie Azoff: Yeah, there’s like a 60 percent, you know… 60, 65 percent chance the kid’s gonna be fuckin’ retarded or whatever…
Jordan Belfort: That’d scare the shit out of me, buddy.
Donnie Azoff: Look, man… a lot of having a kid or whatever takes risk, whether you’re fuckin’ cousins or not, you know…
Jordan Belfort: What if… what if you… I mean, what if something like that happened?
Donnie Azoff: Well, basically, you know, if the kid was retarded I would… I would, you know, drive it up to the country and just like, you know, open the door and let it… say “You’re free now!” You know? Like, “Run free!” You know?
And then there’s what drug-seeking Jordan Belfort describes as the “cerebral palsy” phase of his Quaaludes high, in a scene where he attempts to crawl to and drive his Lamborghini while obviously under the influence.
But don’t worry about Jordan Belfort or Danny Porush; they’re doing just fine. According to the Daily Mail, Porush is now leveraging his unique business skills in the medical supply industry, working in an unknown capacity for a company called Med-Care serving the needs of the elderly and disabled in Florida. He’s enjoying the lifestyle of a multimillionaire with everything in his wife’s name… just in case.