Why is it consdered acceptable to have them played by normal-sized actors (e.g., in "The Hobbit" or "Snow White and the Huntsman")?
One should ask the same about straight actors playing gay.
Well, being straight is not a part of your physical appearance that has to be altered if you're playing gay.
But this seems to me closer to blackface (though without the historical connotations).
No one wants to work with midgets as they are mean-spirited, unreliable, usually have poor hygiene and always steal.
P.S.: Plus, gay actors can play straight as well, whereas dwarf actors can't play normal-sized people - so it seems unfair to take some of these few roles away from them and give them to normal-sized actors
If you were going to have little people play dwarves in the Tolkien movies, then who would you have play the hobbits?
Really, really, really, really little people?
Good actors are rare. So good actors who are little people are extremely difficult to find, which is why Verne Troyer and Peter Dinklage get so many parts. Some of these little people actors are embarrassingly bad.
In the case of Snow White and the Huntsman, the little people got hired for their bodies, but their faces were CGI'd in with decent actors.
The Hobbits aren't dwarfs. They're miniature people. They have proportionate limbs and stuff. They're what used to be called "midgets," or proportionate dwarfism. Same goes for the Munchkins in THE WIZARD OF OZ.
The men in Snow White have disproportionate dwarfism, or achondroplasia (e.g. average size trunk, short limbs, large head). This is what most people think of when they think dwarfs.
I play normal-sized people, R4.
LOL big time at R3!
Well, they tried that with the 80s fantasy "Willow", and it didn't make much money. "Lord of the Rings" used normal-sized actors and scale doubles, and it made billions.
That's probably the real answer to your question, OP.
Dwarfs in fantasy literature and films are generally a separate race of people, not individuals with the medical condition of dwarfism like in real life.
The distinct physical traits of real people with dwarfism aren't really appropriate for a fantasy race of dwarfs since those features are unique to people who have that medical condition.