German actors create LGBTQ+ diversity campaign

Rachel Badham February 7, 2021

185 LGBTQ+ actors in Germany have collaborated to create a campaign which calls for greater diversity in film, TV, and theatre. The #ActOut manifesto was published in local newspaper, The Süddeutsche Zeitung, with signatories including Babylon Berlin star, Udo Samel, and Karin Hanczewski and Mark Waschke from the German TV drama Tatort.

The manifesto points that the entertainment industry is becoming increasingly diverse, saying: “There are far more stories and perspectives being watched and celebrated than merely those of the white heterosexual middle class.” However, it also highlights the continuing prejudice against LGBTQ+ actors: “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.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.”

The movement hopes to spark wider systematic change Germany’s film and TV industries, which it argues “should stand for coexistence and in its diversity represent society.” The manifesto concludes: “This is an act of solidarity beyond the borders of our industry and an appeal to everyone to support us. We look forward to all the new stories that we can present and tell together.” The Berlin International Film Festival has expressed support for the campaign, stating it “fully support’s #ActOut’s more diverse & inclusive vision of cinema.”