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Feminist group sues Miss France beauty contest


PARIS: A leading feminist organization in France said Monday it was suing the promoters of the Miss France beauty contest in a labor court, alleging they used discriminatory criteria to select participants.

The “Osez le feminisme” (Dare to be a Feminist) group, along with three failed contestants, said they were targeting the Miss France company as well as Endemol Production, which makes the annual TV program screened on the TF1 channel.

The plaintiffs argue that the companies are breaking French labor law with discriminatory selection criteria by obliging aspiring beauty queens to be more than 1.70 metres tall, single, and “representative of beauty”.

The French labor code forbids companies from discriminating on the basis of “morals, age, family status or physical appearance,” Violaine De Filippis-Abate, a lawyer for Osez le feminisme, told AFP.

The case, filed at a labor court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, will hinge on whether magistrates recognize Miss France contestants as de facto employees of the organizers and TV Company.

Contestants do not sign an employment contract, but the plaintiffs point to a supportive judgment in 2013 when a former contestant on Mister France also sued for similar reasons.

The Miss France Company declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

The next contest is set to take place in Caen in northern France on December 11. (AFP)

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