Accusations of racism and homophobia on the set of ‘Neighbours’

Actor Shareena Clanton has shared that she encountered overt and covert levels of racism on the set of long-running TV soap Neighbours when she filmed a recent guest spot.

Clanton, who came to prominence playing Doreen Anderson on four series of top rating show Wentworth, said she was shocked by some of the exchanges she encountered between cast and crew members on the show.

Clanton, a Wongatha, Yamatji, Noongar and Gitja woman, said it had been “lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe place”.

Meyne Wyatt, who played Nate Kinski on the show from 2014 to 2016, has backed up Clanton, saying he too experienced racism and homophobia during his time on Neighbours. 

The Wongutha-Yamatji man shared that he had also experienced inappropriate comments being made on the production, and said homophobia was “rampant” and the workplace would not be a safe place for anyone in the LGBTIQA+ community.

Clanton detailed a range of experiences from team members using racial slurs, and another senior staff member calling himself a “slave-driver’ in reference to their working relationship. Clanton says while she raised the issues with the Human Resources Department little action was taken.

After Clanton raised her concerns she received a wave of abuse on social media.

Yesterday a representative for production company Fremantle Media told the media that there had been “significant and lengthy discussions” with Clanton about the issues she raised during her time on the show.

“Neighbours strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen,” the spokesperson said.

“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.”

The spokesperson said the production company would continue to work with all cast and crew to ensure Neighbours continued to be a fully inclusive environment.

In recent years the show has been praised for it’s inclusion of same-sex attracted, and transgender, characters.

OIP Staff

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