185 German actors staged a mass coming out this week in a public statement of visibility in an effort to inspire more diversity in the entertainment industry.
Wrote the actors in a manifesto: “We’re here and there are a whole lot of us! We are actors who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, inter and non-binary, amongst many other things. Until now, we haven’t been able to be open about our private lives without fearing professional consequences. All too often, many of us have been cautioned – be it by managers, casting agents, colleagues, producers, editors, directors, etc. – to keep quiet about our sexual orientations and gender identities to avoid jeopardizing our careers. We are putting an end to this – once and for all!”
The Hollywood Reporter writes: “The 185 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors — among them Babylon Berlin star Udo Samel, and Karin Hanczewski and Mark Waschke from No. 1 German TV drama Tatort — published a joint manifesto in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung calling for a change in attitudes and more LGBTQ characters in scripts. ‘I come from a world that didn’t tell me anything about myself,’ ran the headline of the front-page article in Friday’s paper. “
“Until now, we’ve been told that if we revealed certain facets of our identities, namely our sexual and gender identities, we would suddenly lose the ability to portray certain characters and relationships,” the actors continued. “As if the knowledge of who we are in our private lives would somehow invalidate our ability to convincingly embody roles for the audience. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are actors. We don’t have to be the characters we portray. We act as if – that is the very quintessence of our job. We play wives and fathers, lovers and politicians, heroes and creeps. And often enough, characters whose ideas we’d never agree with. That’s why we can play murderers without having murdered anyone. We can save lives without having studied medicine. We can play people with sexual identities different from the ones we live out. And, by the way, this is something we’ve been doing for a very long time, the entire time, in fact, because it is the nature of our profession.”