Homophobia and racism on set of Neighbours, actors claim

neighbours stars racism homophobia Shareena Clanton Meyne Wyatt
Photos: Instagram/ABC/Supplied

Two actors on Neighbours have come forward with allegations of racism and homophobia behind-the-scenes of the long-running soap.

Aboriginal actor Shareena Clanton took to Instagram to detailed allegations of “overt and covert racism” on the Channel 10 series.

In Clanton’s Instagram post, she claimed the n-word was said openly twice, to laughter.

She also witnessed a white actor calling another actor of colour a “lil monkey.”

Clanton says when she confronted the actor she was told to go somewhere else as she was “making others uncomfortable”.

“The retaliation for calling out this misconduct and racism often left me ostracised and further marginalised,” she said.

She described the set as “culturally unsafe” and a “lonely, triggering and traumatising place to work”.

Meyne Wyatt makes allegations of racism and homophobia

Aboriginal actor and previous Neighbours cast member Meyne Wyatt also penned a Twitter thread calling out racism and homophobia he saw on the set.

Wyatt played a gay Indigenous character on the show from 2014 to 2016. He alleged as well as racism, homophobia on the set was also “rampant”.

Writing about one incident, Wyatt tweeted, “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. I have too much experience to believe otherwise.

“And it is disappointing but not at all surprising to hear that five years later racism continues to be present in that workplace.

“But what can you say, we are in Australia.”

He also added, “The homophobia that was present whilst I was on Neighbours, was f**king rampant.

“The comments and jokes and innuendos were ridiculous!

“It made for a very unsafe environment for anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and the shit needs to be stamped out.

“Racism and homophobia needs an active and present force behind it to be driven out.

“To the production companies, to the networks: do better, be better. You can always do better. The work is not finished.”

Neighbours production company responds

On Tuesday, the show’s production company Fremantle Media responded to Sharenna Clanton’s allegations.

A spokesperson said the company would “continue to work with all cast and crew to ensure Neighbours continues to be a fully inclusive environment”.

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

“Our quest is always to continue to grow and develop in this area. 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’ll continue to work with all cast and crew to ensure Neighbours continues to be a fully inclusive environment.”

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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