Bullfighting in Spain is steeped in tradition. However, its tradition of dwarf bullfighting shows, also called “dwarf toreros,” has been a subject of controversy in recent years. This is the story of these little entertainers who are fighting against social stigma and for their right to perform.
The dwarf toreros fight young bulls, but they don’t kill them. They often dress up as clowns, and their shows are known for being entertaining. However, organizations that promote equality for short-statured people want dwarf bullfighting shows to be banned, as they believe the performances make a mockery of people with achondroplasia, a genetic condition. Critics say it’s undignified, but the dwarf toreros want to keep performing. For them, the arena shows are fun, and without them, their livelihood is at stake. A report by Norman Striegel captures this ongoing debate about discrimination and dignity through the lens of these performers who refuse to back down.