Racism and homophobia are rife on Ramsay Street, according to former Neighbours stars.
Indigenous actors Meyne Wyatt and Shareena Clanton went public this week – posting the explosive claims on social media.
Clanton has revealed online trolls have subsequently targeted her with a barrage of abuse.
Racism and homophobia rife on Ramsay Street
Former cast member Wyatt said he experienced racism during his time on the long-running soap.
In a series of tweets, the Wongutha-Yamatji actor, director and writer claimed he overheard the use of a racial slur while working on the Neighbours set.
“I called it out and it didn’t happen around me again,” Wyatt said.
“Though I did walk in on this incident, so I have no doubt things were being said behind my back.”
He also claimed homophobia is “rampant”.
He said that a culture of homophobic jokes and comments made the set an “unsafe environment” for anyone in the LGBTIQ+ community.
“Racism and Homophobia needs an active and present force behind it to be driven out! Neighbours do better! The Film and TV Industry do better! Australia do better!”
Wyatt also noted that it took 30 years before producers chose an Indigenous actor to be part of the regular Neighbours cast.
Multiple racist traumas
Meanwhile, Wentworth star Shareena Clanton described “multiple racist traumas” during her six-week stint on Ramsay Street.
The conduct required her to seek ongoing counselling.
She posted on Instagram that she will never work on Neighbours again:
“It’s been lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space.”
In the social media post, she outlined multiple allegations of racist and inappropriate behaviour by senior Neighbours staff and fellow cast members.
For example, she claimed a white actor openly referred to another actor of colour a “lil’ monkey”.
“The retaliation for calling out this misconduct and racism often left me ostracised and further marginalised,” Clanton wrote.
Inclusion on-screen and off
Neighbours is now in its 35th year and is produced by Fremantle Media for Network Ten.
A Fremantle spokesperson said it “strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen”.
“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.”
Lack of inclusion and diversity on television
Wyatt also noted a distinct lack of inclusion and diversity on Australian television.
“I don’t see a lot of Indigenous actors on the show or on any prime time Television series, whether it be Neighbours, Home and Away, anything on Channel Seven, Nine or Ten, for that matter.
“Stan and Netflix take note! But these attitudes are prevalent throughout the industry.”
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