Two Indigenous Australian stars have revealed that they saw and experienced incidents of racism while working on a series called Neighbors.
Shareena Clanton has accused of “multiple racist harassment” during her time in the show in an Instagram post on Monday.
A day later, former Neighbors star Meyne Wyatt said he too faced racism in a tweet.
It’s Been Lonely
The actors, both Australian natives, said they had heard other cast members use profanity which were racially motivated.
“It’s been lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space,” wrote Ms Clanton, who has guest starred in yet-to-be-aired episodes of Neighbours.
Responding to Ms Clanton’s allegations, the show’s producer, Fremantle Media, said it would do more to promote inclusion.
“Neighbours strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen,” a spokesperson for Fremantle Media told the BBC. “Our quest is always to continue to grow and develop in this area and we acknowledge that this is an evolving process.”
Distributed for the first time in 1985, Neighbors followed the lives of residents of Ramsay Street, in the Melbourne suburb of Victoria. Soap has been the epitome of the launch of many pop and Hollywood stars, including Kylie Minogue and Russell Crowe.
But the soap has been criticised for failing to reflect Australia’s ethnic diversity in its casting of actors.
Mr. Wyatt was the first native character to be added to the main characters when he appeared in the show from 2014 to 2016.
A spokesman for Channel 5, which plays soap operas in the UK, said it “condemns racism and takes all allegations of apartheid seriously”.
Known for her role in the Australian drama series Wentworth, Ms Clanton was hired to play an actress named Sheila in upcoming Neighbors series.
In her Instagram post, Ms Clanton said she was “navigating ongoing counselling” from her stint on what she called a “highly problematic show”.
She made the allegations in a series of seven bullet points, without mentioning people’s names. One alleged that “overt and covert levels of racism were rife” on set.
She cited several examples of white actors using racist language, including two cases in which she said the “n-word” was used in public.
She cited several alleged examples of white actors using racist slurs, including two instances where she claimed the “n-word” was openly used.
“Retaliation for calling this behavior immoral and racist has often left me isolated and lonely,” wrote Mrs. Clanton.
Mr Wyatt expressed similar sentiments in his posts on Twitter. He said he walked in on someone using a racist insult, “called it out and it didn’t happen around me again”.
Mr Wyatt said it was “disappointing but not at all surprising” to hear about Ms Clanton’s allegations five years after he had left the show.