The Ministry of Social Rights in Spain is trying ban these “humiliating” shows
The performance by Popeye Torero, which was due take place in Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring on October 8, has been described as “humiliating and degrading” by disability rights groups. These kinds of shows, aimed at families with children, typically involve people with dwarfism fighting small bulls dressed as clowns or in other ‘funny’ costumes.
Jesús Martín Blanco, general director of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the Ministry of Social Rights, who has dysplasia (a type of dwarfism) himself, was a central figure in the campaign to cancel the event.
“We show our absolute rejection of a culture that ridicules human beings for their disability,” he said.
Despite the outrage it caused, the Madrid City Council insists the show was cancelled “in common agreement with the company” because it had sold so few tickets – only 37, to be exact. This leaves the door open for it going ahead again next year.
Ironically, the creator of Popeye Torero, Juan Asenjo, who planned to have his performers dress up as sailors, has accused the opposition groups of attacking the work of “little people.”
“I’m a normal [height] person,” he explained. “But I have been working side by side with them for 43 years in this type of performance and nobody puts a gun to their heads. They are there freely.”
These so-called comedy bullfighting shows are almost as old as the tradition itself, and generally aimed to show the lighter side of bull runs. They were traditionally made up of different musical numbers, parodies and amusing games with the animals and the biggest draw was the troupe of people with dwarfism who would horse around in the arena.
The Ministry of Social Rights is currently working on a law reform that aims to ban this “demeaning” kind of entertainment by the end of the year.
Image: Jeffadp – Capeia on YouTube
Source: Murcia Today