Shareena Clanton who first spoke out about alleged racism and misogyny onset of the popular television show Neighbours has been forced to take a “mental health break” from social media, citing “overwhelming toxic and repulsive abuse” online.
In a social media post last week, the Wongatha/Yamatji, and Noongar/Gitja actor said, “overt and covert levels of racism were rife, often disguised as ‘jokes’ like a white actress openly calling another actress of colour a lil’ monkey” and said she would “never work for the show again.”
Ms Clanton alleged the “N” word was openly used on set, on more than one occasion and in another instance an actress laughed openly at the use of the racist word, only to lie, and say she didn’t when questioned by HR.
Shortly after Shareena Clanton’s post, another Aboriginal actor and former Neighbours cast member Meyne Wyatt said he had also experienced racism on the set of the long-running soap and was “disappointed but not surprised” by the allegations.
Chris Oliver-Taylor, CEO of the Neighbours production company Fremantle Asia Pacific responded to the allegations in a statement reading:
“We do not tolerate behaviour that does not align to our Anti-Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Harassment & Bullying Policy and take all complaints very seriously, investigating all allegations fairly and thoroughly.”
“We have asked Campfire X, creative leaders in Indigenous Cultural Protocols, to conduct an independent review of Neighbours and the production process.”
Speaking with NITV, Ms Clanton said, “she’s glad there will be an investigation, but that the statements still aren’t good enough.”
In her latest post, she says “I knew what battlefield I was stepping on, but I was not ready for questioning if I did the right thing, knowing how much it’s cost me and my career to stand up and speak out against these power structures.”
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