"miss France" and labor law: decision at the prud’hommes on November 8

The feminist association “Osez le féminisme” maintains that the candidates for the beauty contest should be linked to the producers of the show. Justice will rule on November 8 on this issue.

Do candidates for the Miss France contest have to have an employment contract? Justice will rule on November 8 on this question, raised on Tuesday before the industrial tribunal of Bobigny by a feminist association.

“Dare feminism” maintains that the candidates for the election of the beauty queen should be linked to the producers of the show – the SAS Miss France and Endemol Production – by an employment contract, and this from the first regional selections. Currently, this is only the case for the final election, at the national level, and only since last year.

The association also maintains that the criteria for participation in this show are discriminatory with regard to labor law, because the candidates are notably required to measure at least 1.70 m, to be single and “representative of beauty”.

“You are instrumentalizing young women to make profits, without even protecting them with an employment contract. It has to stop,” pleaded Me Violaine de Filippis-Abate, the association’s lawyer.

“Unjustifiable sexist injunctions”

According to Dare feminism, the election of Miss France, broadcast each year in December on TF1, conveys “unjustifiable sexist injunctions” and “retrograde images of the woman-object”.

Alongside the association, three women also took legal action, arguing that they had to give up participating in the competition because of the competition clauses which they consider “discriminatory”.

An argument swept away by the organizers of the event: “There can be no discrimination if you have not even applied for a position”, underlined their lawyer, Me Stéphanie Dumas.

On the merits, Endemol and the Miss France Society refute any discrimination and affirm that the stages of the competition preceding the national election do not fall under the labor code because it is not a question of “recruitment strictly speaking”, a added Me Dumas.

Removal of certain discriminatory clauses

In an interview at Figaro published on Tuesday, the president of the Miss France Society, Alexia Laroche-Joubert, also indicated that she intended to modify several criteria for selecting candidates, in particular by removing any age limit, or the obligation of celibacy.

The organizers are “currently in the process of emptying (the) regulation of certain discriminatory clauses”, reacted before the prud’hommes Me de Filippis-Abate, seeing there a “confession”.

For the association’s spokesperson, Alyssa Ahrabare, this is an “essential” fight. “We are ready for the rest and, if our request is rejected, we will not stop there,” she told AFP after the hearing.

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