The production company behind Australian TV soap Neighbors has ordered an independent review of allegations of racial discrimination in the program.
Two Indigenous Australian stars have alleged that they have witnessed racist incidents while on the show.
Shareena Clanton said it was a ‘trauma’ to work in this culturally unsafe environment.
Announcing the investigation, Fremantle Media, the soap producer, said it did not tolerate discrimination.
‘We Take All Complaints Seriously’
“Fremantle is committed to providing an environment where employees and others in the workplace are treated fairly and with dignity, and are free from unfair discrimination, harassment, and exploitation,” Fremantle said.
“We do not tolerate conduct that is inconsistent with our Anti-Discrimination Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Harassment and Exploitation Policy and we take all complaints seriously, investigating all allegations equally and carefully.”
It also added: “We have asked Campfire X, creative leaders in Indigenous Cultural Protocols, to conduct an independent review of Neighbours and the production process.”
Multiple Racist Traumas
A spokesman for Channel 5, which plays the soap operas in the UK, said it “condemns racism and takes all allegations of apartheid seriously”.
On Monday, Clanton alleged “multiple racist traumas” during her time on the show in an Instagram post.
A day later, another former Neighbor star Meyne Wyatt said in a tweet that he had also faced racism.
The actors, both Australian natives, said they had heard other actors use racial slurs.
“It’s been lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space,” wrote Clanton, who has guest starred in yet-to-be-aired episodes of Neighbours.
About Neighbours Show
Distributed for the first time in 1985, Neighbors followed the lives of residents of Ramsay Street, in the Melbourne suburb of Victoria. It has been the epitome of the launch of many pop and Hollywood stars, including Kylie Minogue and Russell Crowe.
But the soap opera has been criticized for failing to show racial diversity in Australia.
Wyatt was the first indigenous character to be added to the main cast when he appeared in the show from 2014 to 2016.