Fremantle Media has appointed an independent review of Neighbours after actress Shareena Clanton accused the Network Ten soap of racism.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, Shareena, 30, alleged producers fostered a toxic workplace environment and that the show was a ‘culturally unsafe space’.
Fremantle Asia Pacific CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor said ‘all complaints are taken seriously and we are investigating all allegations fairly’.
Investigation: Fremantle Media has launched an independent review of Neighbours after actress Shareena Clanton (pictured) accused the show of racism
‘Fremantle is committed to providing an environment where employees and others in the workplace are treated fairly and with respect, and are free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and bullying,’ he said in statement to TV Tonight.
‘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.’
On Tuesday, Shareena accused the Channel 10 soap of racism and vowed to never work on the program again.
Among several complaints, the Aboriginal actress accused a staff member of making crude remarks and claimed she heard the N-word used on set twice.
Review: Fremantle Asia Pacific CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor said the Network Ten soap, now in its 35th year, strives ‘to provide an environment where employees are treated fairly’ and it takes ‘complaints very seriously’. Pictured: former Neighbours star Tim Robards, who is not believed to be involved in the allegations
‘I’m struggling to post anything positive about the months I endured on Neighbours after multiple racist traumas and navigating ongoing counselling from this highly problematic show,’ she wrote.
‘It’s been lonely, triggering and traumatising to work in such a culturally unsafe space.’
While she didn’t name specific staff members, Shareena listed several ‘racist’ and problematic incidents she apparently witnessed during filming.
She claimed: ‘A [staff member] thought it funny and appropriate to openly laugh at the word ‘cum slut’ by a cast member who loudly spoke about ‘cum’, ‘cum’, ‘cum’ in front of other cast and crew.
‘Due to my insistence of engaging a Wurundjeri Elder to be included for ongoing cultural safety reasons like cultural protocols followed and debriefing, I was told ‘this is not a film production, Shareena’ and that ‘we simply don’t have the budget’.
‘The humble few hundred dollars a week Aunty and I proposed was in contrast to the thousands of dollars actors were receiving each pay. I paid Aunty directly out of my own income to make up for this lack of budget.’
Allegations: Shareena (pictured) alleged on Instagram on Tuesday that producers fostered a toxic workplace environment and that the show was a ‘culturally unsafe space’
She continued: ‘A senior staff member openly laughed whilst using the term ‘slave driver’ in reference to him ‘working hard’. My management at the time didn’t help as they endorsed/encouraged this ‘office banter’. I fired the agent.
‘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’.’
‘Twice I endured the N-word openly being used on-set and in the green room. I was even told to ‘go somewhere else’ by staff when confronting the actor directly because I was making others ‘uncomfortable’,’ she added.
‘A white actress openly laughed at the racist N-word to only lie about laughing about it when questioned by HR. She said that I ‘misconstrued’ what she was ‘laughing at’ and that she was laughing at ‘something else’. That is a blatant lie.
‘The retaliation for calling out this misconduct and racism often left me ostracised and further marginalised. What was meant to [be an] HR follow-up [to] discuss this led to them saying they were unsure of ‘what else they could do’.’
Accusations: Among several complaints, Shareena accused a staff member of making crude remarks and claimed she heard the N-word used on set twice
Shareena’s guest appearance on Neighbours is set to air next week.
A Freemantle spokesperson told TV Blackbox: ‘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.’
Appearance: Shareena’s guest appearance on Neighbours is set to air next week. Pictured: Shareena on set with Colette Mann
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk