(1) This year was the 80th fête de l'humanité, a giant communist festival outside of Paris where each region's communist party sets up a booth with petitions, speeches, pamphlets and cute communist puns. But it's also just a big music festival with a lefty spirit, basically more disgustingly innovative dreadlocks, Palestinian flags and nice people than the Euro-bro summer music festival I went to last month.
(2) So, in this setting, this makes perfect sense: an old French rock star, Jacques Dutronc, starts singing one of his classic songs called "J'aime les filles" or "I love girls." From the extreme distance of where I am sitting from the stage I can't see much, but suddenly notice a small red blob on the stage that is not in any of the shots projected onto the giant screen. It kind of looks like a midget? Well, yes it is. Finally, Jacques introduces this tiny woman in a ridiculous red dress as Stéphanie, his "porte-bonheur" and "mascotte" (good-luck charm and mascot). Then she tells some jokes.
The only clip I could find is the end of the song, where, gotta show love for the Corsicans by holding up that Corsican flag your midget keeps in her pocket?
So I guess its just cultural differences, but even the crunchiest of the Frenchies didn't seem to find this a little fucked up. I guess France is a little behind the US, what with all our more enlightened little people entertainment. Or keeping midgets as mascots has always been more of a European thing.