Another 'Neighbours' star has raised concerns about her treatment on the set of the popular soap opera.
By
Stephanie Corsetti

Source:
NITV News
15 Apr 2021 - 4:58 PM  UPDATED 15 Apr 2021 - 4:58 PM

Actor Sharon Johal has become the latest cast-member to allege direct, indirect and casual racism on the set of 'Neighbours' calling her experience "painful and problematic."

Ms Johal who worked on the show for four years wrote on her website that she heard references about herself as "the black one" and "blackie." 

She said she spoke up to management about the racist comments but no further action was taken. 

Ms Johal said this could be a "transformative moment" for the show after First Nations actors Shareena Clanton and Meyne Wyatt also made allegations about their time on 'Neighbours.'

Ms Clanton announced on social media this week that was she having a mental health break after calling out her experiences via social media last week. 

"I’ve been heartbroken to learn that that not one, but two of our First Nations actors from Wongatha/Yamatji and Noongar/Gita Country have shared their experience of racism at my former workplace," Ms Johal said of her fellow cast-mates. 

Ms Johal said she did not want to be perceived as the 'trouble-maker' and that the past week has been traumatising and triggering for her. 

"Having felt isolated, marginalised and not supported for speaking up on issues before by some cast members (with whom I spent the vast majority of my time at work, and who witnessed some of this behaviour), I did not have faith that I would be adequately supported should I have taken the action to instigate a formal investigation into the allegations," Ms Johal said. 

"As a qualified lawyer, I see this very clearly as a human rights issue - an issue that is not exclusive to this specific workplace, but rather endemic to our society as a whole," she said. 

Ms Johal has also accused the show of having instances of "culturally insensitive scripts" and she often felt compelled to raise issues.

In a statement, Fremantle Media said it remained committed to ensuring a respectful and inclusive workplace for all employees on the set and it takes very seriously any questions about racism or discrimination.

"We are engaging an independent legal investigation to work concurrently with Campfire X’s cultural review and hope to work directly with the individuals that have raised concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps are appropriate," a spokesperson said. 

Ms Johal said she was expected to return in the coming weeks for a guest appearance on the show.

More fallout from racism claims on 'Neighbours' set
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."