Shareena Clanton, whose first look on the present aired on Wednesday, mentioned the N-word was used twice in her presence, and she detailed “multiple racist traumas” she mentioned she endured on set.
The actress additionally mentioned sexist jokes had been made by senior folks, that she suffered retaliation and was “ostracized and further marginalized” because of this of her complaints.
Following her claims, Clanton obtained assist from a quantity of fellow actors.
One of them, Meyne Wyatt, starred in a whole bunch of episodes of “Neighbours” between 2014 and 2016 and mentioned he too had skilled racism and “rampant” homophobia on set.
Wyatt, who can be an Aboriginal actor, mentioned such abuse is endemic within the Australian TV scene. “Neighbours do better! The Film and TV Industry do better! Australia do better!” he wrote on Twitter.
In a press release to NCS, a spokesperson for the present mentioned “there have been significant and lengthy discussions with Shareena during her time on Neighbours and we will continue to work with all cast and crew to ensure Neighbours continues to be a fully inclusive environment.”
Chris Oliver-Taylor, the regional CEO of manufacturing firm Fremantle, informed NCS in a press release that an unbiased overview of “Neighbours” and its manufacturing course of has been ordered.
Racism was ‘rife’ on set
Set in a fictional Melbourne suburb, “Neighbours” is one of Australia’s greatest cultural exports, fascinating worldwide audiences over the course of its 36-year run. The present was notably well-liked within the United Kingdom throughout its late-Nineteen Eighties heyday, and it launched the careers of world stars together with Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe and Kylie Minogue.
When the present isn’t being filmed, its Melbourne set attracts hordes of followers and vacationers. But in an in depth Instagram publish containing a number of alleged encounters, Clanton described the positioning as a poisonous and isolating office.
The allegations and the Australian media’s zealous protection of them comprise essentially the most damaging controversy within the historical past of the present, which has aired greater than 8,500 episodes and is the nation’s longest-running TV drama.
“Overt and covert levels of racism were rife, often disguised as ‘jokes’ like a white actress openly calling another actress of colour a ‘lil’ monkey’,” she wrote. “Twice I endured the ‘N’-word openly being used on-set and in the green room. I was even told to ‘go somewhere else’ by staff when confronting the actor directly because I was making others ‘uncomfortable’.”
Clanton didn’t establish any forged or crew members by title — a choice she mentioned was to “avoid any lawsuit.”
But she mentioned a White actress on the present “openly laughed at the racist ‘N’-word to only lie about laughing about it when questioned by HR.”
“She said that I ‘misconstrued’ what she was ‘laughing at’ and that she was laughing at ‘something else’. That is a blatant lie,” Clanton claimed.
The actress, who beforehand starred in hit Australian jail drama “Wentworth” and has ceaselessly championed Aboriginal rights at demonstrations and on-line, additionally mentioned she noticed a “Head of Department” laughing at a vulgar sexist time period in entrance of different forged and crew.
“I’ll never work for this show again,” she wrote on the finish of her publish.
In response to the allegations, Oliver-Taylor mentioned the manufacturing firm is “committed to providing an environment where employees and others in the workplace are treated fairly and with respect, and are free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying.”
A “Neighbours” spokesperson added: “Neighbours strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen. Our quest is always to continue to grow and develop in this area and we acknowledge that this is an evolving process. Shareena’s involvement in the creative process and on set was invaluable and hugely educational and will benefit the series moving forward.”
In the present, Clanton performs Sheila Canning, described in promotional materials as “a mysterious woman” who arrives from out of city and shares the identical title as a daily character.
Wednesday’s episode was the 8,594th in present historical past.
Wyatt, an earlier Aboriginal star on this system, wrote a Twitter thread on Tuesday after Clanton shared her allegations.
“I was a series regular on Neighbours between 2014 to 2016 and I experienced Racism on set,” he mentioned. “It involved the C word and I called it out and it didn’t happen around me again. Though I did walk in on this incident? so I have no doubt things were being said behind my back.”
“I have too much experience to believe otherwise. And it is disappointing but not at all surprising to hear that five years later racism continues to be present in that workplace. But what can you say, we are in Australia.”
Wyatt went on to lament the shortage of Aboriginal inclusion in main Australian TV exhibits. He then added: “On top of that, the Homophobia that was present whilst I was on Neighbours, was f**king rampant! The comments and jokes and innuendos were ridiculous!”
“It made for a very unsafe environment for anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and the sh*t needs to be stamped out.”