A leading feminist organization in France said on Monday it was suing promoters of the Miss France beauty pageant in an employment tribunal, alleging they used discriminatory criteria to select participants.
The group “Dare feminism”, accompanied by three failed candidates, declared targeting the company Miss France as well as Endemol Production, which airs the annual television program on the TF1 channel.
The plaintiffs argue that companies violate French labor law with discriminatory selection criteria by forcing aspiring beauty queens to be over 1.70 meters tall, to be single and “beauty representatives”.
The labor code prohibits companies from discriminating on the basis of “morality, age, marital status or physical appearance,” Violaine De Filippis-Abate, lawyer for Dare Feminism, told AFP .
The case, filed in a labor court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, will depend on whether the magistrates recognize the Miss France candidates as de facto employees of the organizers and the television company.
The candidates do not sign an employment contract, but the plaintiffs invoke a favorable judgment in 2013 when a former candidate of Mister France also sued for similar reasons.
Miss France declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
The next competition will take place in Caen, in the north of France, on December 11.