(Paris) French cinema is led to question the place it reserves for LGBT performers, after the story of actress and comedian Muriel Robin on her difficulties in establishing herself on screen as an actress openly lesbian.

Ultra-popular, Muriel Robin put her foot down on the set of the television show Quelle époque! on France 2 this weekend, saying she was “the only actress in the world to say (her) homosexuality.”

Muriel Robin, 68, says her sexual orientation has prevented her from being offered roles in comedies for decades, even though she sells out theaters with her shows.

“I know the French homosexual actors, they keep quiet,” because there are no outspoken gay or lesbian performers “who have great careers,” she continued, going so far as to say attention of young people: “we must tell them that there is no point in them doing this job. They won’t work.”

In question, according to her, the “desire” which must be projected onto the stars of the big screen: “if you are homosexual, you are not desirable, you are not penetrable. And when we are not penetrable […] we are worthless,” summarized Muriel Robin.

This discrimination is impossible to quantify: there is no data on the sexual orientation of actors and actresses.

Few well-known French actors or actresses have publicly discussed their homosexuality, like Nicolas Maury or Adèle Haenel, who said goodbye with a bang to the cinema last May.

Abroad, the British Rupert Everett has already mentioned the difficulties of being a gay actor, when Muriel Robin cited the example of Jodie Foster, who kept silent for a long time.

On the other hand, the 50/50 collective, at the forefront of issues of discrimination, published a barometer last year to measure the proportion of LGBT characters in French films.

The conclusion ? They are rare: out of the hundred films studied, the sexual orientation is known for 82% of the main characters, and only 5% of them are homosexual or bisexual, and they are “strongly stereotyped”, notes the study.

Very often, these roles are played by actors who do not identify as homosexuals, emphasizes to AFP Stéphane Gaillard, a distribution director involved in the subject. And the rare outspoken gay or lesbian actors are no longer offered straight roles, seeing their identity “vampirized,” he continues.

“It’s not a plot, it’s something very anchored and not thought out,” even among queer directors, he analyzes. As a result, “even today, actors have great difficulty saying who they are. “It’s a huge risk.”

“For a straight person, playing a gay role brings added value, it’s a springboard, whereas for a gay person, it’s the risk of only being offered one type of role,” he adds. .

The mechanism described by Muriel Robin “plays especially for the best-known stars, who must remain objects of desire”, adds another distribution director and manager at 50/50, Sophie Lainé Diodovic.

Beyond supposed sexual orientation, this professional calls for “a cultural deconstruction of dominant virility”, to better reflect the diversity of the public’s desires.

During the preparation of certain films, “I have already heard myself answer ‘this one is too gay'”, she says of an actor who does not meet the classic criteria of virility “a la Jean-Paul Belmondo or Gérard Depardieu”. Things are already moving, “with Édouard Baer, ​​Timothée Chalamet”, much less physically virile.

To continue to change this “collective unconscious”, Sophie Lainé Diodovic calls for “collective work” from the entire community.

Former agent Dominique Besnehard (Dix pour cent) hopes that Muriel Robin’s position can help young performers: “what she is doing here is good […] she will move things forward,” he said. he declared in the online show BuzzTV.