• Australian actor Shareena Clanton arrives at the 2017 Logie Awards at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, April 23, 2017. (AAP)Source: AAP
The racial justice organisation Democracy in Colour says television shows like 'Neighbours' need to depict people of colour on screen outside the "white middle class narrative."
Stephanie Corsetti

13 Apr 2021 - 12:19 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2021 - 12:20 PM

Since speaking out about racism on the set of Neighbours, Shareena Clanton says she has experienced online bullying, and that she is "having a mental health break" from social media. 

She wrote that she had been labelled a trouble-maker and a problem, while several other actors have come forward to support Ms Clanton. 

"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," Ms Clanton said. 

"We need allies and others to be brave enough to speak up," she wrote on Instagram this week. 

Meanwhile, the anti-racism group Democracy in Colour has called out "a lack of real and meaningful diversity" in the wake of the allegations. 

The organisation's national director said the latest allegations against 'Neighbours' have highlighted the entrenched racism within the Australian media.

"Meaningful representation in soaps like Neighbours is only possible if people of colour and First Nation actors are treated with respect and basic humanity," Neha Madhok said. 

'It was continuous': Indigenous Neighbours actors allege systemic racism, sexism on set
Indigenous actors separately allege that a racist and misogynistic workplace is the norm on the set of Australia's longest running TV show.

Fremantle Media has previously said it was committed to providing an environment where employees were treated fairly and with respect as it launched an independent review. 

Some allegations made against the television series and those working for it have also made international news.

Ms Madhok said there was still a problem in engaging with people who have different experiences and are from various cultures.

“Australia exports a fairy tale of white picket fence houses with white families through soaps like Neighbours to international audiences," she said.

"There is no genuine representation of people of colour on temporary visas, migrant workers, or international students," Ms Madhok said.