NEWS AND COMMENT-MADRID, SPAIN: It is difficult to imagine something more distasteful during today’s woke movement and, in fact, in general than a bullfight for dwarf bullfighters. Although, it has to be said, immediately, that there is an argument to retain it because it provides employment. Despite the counterargument, Madrid’s conservative regional government, which invited the company that put on the show, have cancelled the event as it sold only 37 tickets.
But the ticket sales are not the only reason why it’s been cancelled. A disability rights group claimed that it was “humiliating and degrading”.
The comedy troupe is called Popeye Torero. The members of the troupe have dwarfism and the event was scheduled for Madrid’s main bullring, Las Ventas, next week.
Spain’s socialist-led government’s head of disability rights, who himself has skeletal dwarfism, led the opposition to the show which is titled “Popeye the Bullfighter with His Sailor Dwarfs”.
“We show our absolute rejection of a culture that ridicules human beings for their disability.”
He is seeking to ban such events by reforming Spain’s disability laws.
He also said:
“I know what I’m talking about because when these shows came to town, I hid terrified so that people wouldn’t laugh at me. We are not going to allow more girls and boys to feel ashamed of their bodies.”
The troupe’s manager, Juan Ajenjo, is angry because he believes that the decision to cancel the event threatens the livelihood of his dwarfs. He claims that “We live in a dictatorship. Suspending the show is humiliating for the little people. They are forcing them to work where they don’t want to.”
He employs six people with dwarfism including nine others who are clowns and musicians. He further said:
“They are bullfighters, and they feel as such. No one forces them to do anything, they are performing a paid job, trading as in any trade. They have the right to carry out their work.”
In Spain, comic bullfights became popular in 1940s. They followed on from 17th-century satirical acts that took place between bullfights, according to The Times report written by Isambard Wilkinson, their journalist in Spain.
From a personal standpoint, I am very much for this cancellation because bullfighting per se in any case is highly objectionable and certainly barbaric. I know that it has a very long tradition in Spain, but it is time for things to move on and for Spain to modernise in this regard. And a dwarf bullfight relies on old-fashioned voyeurism, a bit like freak shows in Victorian times in England. It is outdated and we don’t need the woke movement to tell us that.
Below are some more articles on bullfights.