What’s More Controversial: Advertising on a Matador’s Cape? Or Advertising a Gay Product?


These are hard times, so we can understand why Joselito Ortega, a Spanish matador, is willing to break with bull fighting code and let sponsors place their ads on his cape. And maybe even his peers could get on board with the idea, knowing it’ll bring in a few extra bucks. But Ortega didn’t sign a deal with Coca-Cola or Coors Light. He signed with Gay Up, an energy drink aimed at homos. Cue the machismo backlash!

In big, red cursive letters, Gay Up’s name will be embroidered on Ortega’s cape. To be sure, it’s not unusual for matadors to strike endorsement deals in Spain and score their own television commercials. But these folks are supposed to be manly men, not fairy fighters! It helps, then, that Ortega isn’t exactly a famous matador. Though he’s about to be.

“I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change,” he says. “I am going to go out into the ring as I have done until now, to risk my life, and the seven goring wounds on my body prove that. If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.”

Oh sweetie, it’s more than fine.