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German LGBT actors come out en masse in plea for diversity

A group of 185 LGBT German actors staged a mass coming-out in a national newspaper on Friday in an appeal for more diversity in the worlds of TV, film and theatre.

German LGBT actors come out en masse in plea for diversity
Karin Hanczewski is one of the actors in the group. Photo: DPA

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors published a joint manifesto in the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine calling for a change in attitudes and more LGBT characters in scripts.

“Until now, we have not been able to talk openly about our private lives without fearing repercussions on our professional lives,” they said.

Interviewed by the newspaper, many said they had been warned not to declare their sexuality because it would prevent them from being considered for heterosexual roles.

“We are actors. We don't have to be what we play. We act as though we were – that is our job,” they said.

They also decried the overrepresentation of straight white men both on and off screen.

Photo: DPA

Those interviewed included Eva Meckbach, 40, known for her roles in the 2012 film “Home for the Weekend” and cult crime series “Tatort”.

“Reality should be as diverse on screen as it is in real life… Society is much wider and more diverse than the decision-makers think,” she said.

Karin Hanczewski, 39, another star of “Tatort”, said: “When we talked about it as a group, it suddenly became clear that this was how we could change something – as a group, as a big group.”

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ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel condemns Hungary’s LGBTQ law as ‘wrong’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised a new law in Hungary banning LGBTQ educational content for children as "wrong" as a European row on the measure hotted up.

Merkel condemns Hungary's LGBTQ law as 'wrong'
Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in the Bundestag on Wednesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Schröder

“I consider this law to be wrong and incompatible with my understanding of politics,” Merkel said on Wednesday in response to a query from a far-right lawmaker at government question time in parliament.

The German leader said she saw it as a contradiction that “single-sex partnerships are allowed” in Hungary “but education about them is restricted”.

“That impacts freedom of education and such matters and is something I oppose politically,” she said.

It was likely Merkel’s final question and answer session in the Bundestag before she steps down at the federal election in September. 

Merkel was also quizzed on Germany’s Covid management where she reiterated that the pandemic “is not over yet”.

Rainbow flags across Germany

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has condemned the Hungarian law as a “shame” that went against EU values, saying it “clearly discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation”.

READ ALSO: Germany turns rainbow-coloured in protest at UEFA stadium ban

She said the Commission would raise legal concerns over the law with Budapest, and added: “I will use all the powers of the commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed whoever you are, and wherever you live.”

Merkel declined to be drawn on the Commission’s plans against Budapest, or on a disputed decision by UEFA refusing to allow the Munich stadium hosting Wednesday’s Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match to light up in rainbow colours.

READ ALSO: UEFA refuses to light Munich stadium in rainbow colours for Germany-Hungary match

Munich city authorities had planned the display to “send a visible sign of solidarity” with Hungary’s LGBTQ community.

Fifteen of the EU’s member states have signed up to voice their “grave concern” at the LGBTQ law that Budapest argues will protect children.

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