As many as 185 actors in Germany on Friday orchestrated a mass coming-out through national newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, appealing for more diversity in the world of TV, film and theatre.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors published a joint manifesto in the newspaper calling for a change in attitudes and introducing more LGBT characters in scripts.

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In their interviews by the newspaper, many said that they had been previously warned not to declare their sexuality openly as it would prevent them from being considered for heterosexual roles.

"Until now, we have not been able to talk openly about our private lives without fearing repercussions on our professional lives," they said.

The group has also spoken up against the on and off-screen overrepresentation of straight white men. 

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"We are actors. We don't have to be what we play. We act as though we were -- that is our job," they said.

Those interviewed included Eva Meckbach, 40, known for her roles in the 2012 film 'Home for the Weekend' and cult crime series 'Tatort'.

Karin Hanczewski, 39, another star of 'Tatort', said, "When we talked about it as a group, it suddenly became clear that this was how we could change something -- as a group, as a big group."

"Reality should be as diverse on-screen as it is in real life... Society is much wider and more diverse than the decision-makers think," she said.