When "Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage won a best supporting actor award at the Golden Globes this weekend, he used the occasion to call attention to the case of a British man who was injured in an unprovoked "dwarf-tossing" attack.
"I want to mention a gentleman I'm thinking about in England," Dinklage said on Sunday. "His name is Martin Henderson. Google him."
Fans listened. Henderson's name became a popular search term and a Twitter trending topic on Monday.
Henderson, a 37-year-old actor, suffered serious back injuries in the attack last October. The 4-foot 6-inch man was picked up by a 5-foot 8-inch man outside a bar in Wincanton and dropped from a height of around three feet. "I keep getting numbness in my left leg and I just keep falling over and I have broken my left wrist," Henderson told the BBC. He currently walks with the aid of crutches and uses a wheelchair for longer trips.
The attack may have been inspired by a dwarf-tossing competition attended by members of England's rugby team in New Zealand on Sept. 11, 2011. The players, including team captain Mike Tindall, were disciplined for attending the event. Tindall — husband of the Queen of England's granddaughter, Zara Philips — was fired from the team last week and fined £25,000 (about $38,300) for his role in the now-infamous party night.
Henderson spoke to Australia's The Telegraph last week, blaming the rugby players for possibly inspiring his attacker, who has not yet been identified or caught. Henderson said he was already recovering from a 2010 back surgery at the time of the attack and was making good progress. Now he fears he may never get another acting job.
Henderson suffers from achondroplasia dwarfism — in which the body is unable to convert cartilage to bone, often resulting in shortened limbs — and spinal stenosis — a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord that can result in numbness and limb weakness.
Dinklage also suffers from achondroplasia. The actor is best known for his roles in "Game of Thrones" and the films "The Station Agent" and "Elf" and the two "Death at a Funeral" movies.
You can see him accepting his acting award in the video below.