Australian TV soap Neighbours launch probe into allegations of racism

An investigation was launched into the allegations of racism behind Australian TV soap Neighbours.

Two Aboriginal-Australian TV stars have alleged they witnessed racist incidents while working on set.

Shareena Clanton said it was “traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space”.

Announcing the inquiry, Fremantle Media, which produces the soap, said it did not tolerate discrimination.

“Fremantle 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,” Fremantle said.

“We do not tolerate behaviour that does not align to our Anti-Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Harassment and Bullying Policy and take all complaints very seriously, investigating all allegations fairly and thoroughly.”

It added: “We have asked Campfire X, creative leaders in Indigenous Cultural Protocols, to conduct an independent review of Neighbours and the production process.”

On Monday, Clanton alleged “multiple racist traumas” during her time on the show in an Instagram post.

A day later, former Neighbours actor Meyne Wyatt said in a tweet he too had experienced racism on set.

The actors, both Australians of indigenous descent, said they had heard other cast members use racist 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.

First broadcast in 1985, Neighbours follows the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street, in a fictional suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. The soap was a launch pad for numerous 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.

Wyatt was the first indigenous actor to be added to the main cast when he appeared on the show from 2014 to 2016.