Shareena Clanton and Meyne Wyatt have spoken about racism on the Neighbours set after Clanton posted about it on her Instagram.
Clanton, who is a Wongatha, Yamatji, Noongar and Gitja woman, posted on her Instagram that she had “endured multiple racist traumas” while working on the show.
She described it as being “lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space.”
Clanton appeared on Neighbours in the role of Sheila Canning. In her time on the show, she wrote that she experienced the use of the ‘N-word’ more than once on set, after which she was allegedly told to “go somewhere else” by staff after confronting the cast member who said the word.
View this post on Instagram
In the post, Clanton also said that she saw a white actress call a younger actress of colour a “lil’ monkey”. She alleged that production told her they didn’t have an adequate budget to employ a Wurundjeri Elder who Clanton felt needed to be on set for cultural safety reasons.
Her allegations against the Neighbours cast and crew were supported by Meyne Watt, a Wongutha-Yamatji actor who was a series regular between 2014-2016. He posted a Twitter thread outlining the discrimination he faced on set.
I was a series regular on Neighbours between 2014 to 2016 and I experienced Racism on set. It involved the C word and I called it out and it didn’t happen around me again. Though I did walk in on this incident? so I have no doubt things were being said behind my back.
— Meyne Wyatt (@meynewyatt) April 6, 2021
He pointed out that by the time he joined the show, the program had been on air for 30 years and he was the first Indigenous actor to be included in the main cast.
“Individuals, actors, cast and crews! To the Production companies, to the networks! Do better, be better. You can always do better. The work is not finished. Even when you think you have, just know you haven’t,” he said in the thread.
As well as racism on set, Wyatt also described “rampant” homophobia on set which created a “very unsafe environment for anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Since sharing her experience on set, Clanton has posted pictures of comments left on her original post. They include racist language and refer to her as a “whiner”.
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A spokesperson from Fremantle, who produces the show, said in a statement that:
“Neighbours strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen. 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. 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.”
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