Actor Shareena Clanton said he suffered “multiple racist trauma” on the set of the soap opera Neighbors.
- The actor said he heard the ‘word n’ openly used on the soap tray
- Clanton said she was confronted in retail for speaking out against racism and misconduct
- Production company Fremantle Media said it was engaged in important discussions with Clanton while she was on the show.
Clanton, a Wongatha, Yamatji, Noongar and Gitja woman, said it had been “lonely, stimulating and traumatic to work in a culturally dangerous place”.
Clanton is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Doreen Anderson in the award-winning prison drama Wentworth and has starred in many other Australian productions.
In a social media post, she said “overt and covert levels of racism were rife” during her months working for Neighbors.
She said this included a white actor calling another colored actor a “little monkey” and two instances where the “n-word” was openly used.
She alleges that she was told to ‘go somewhere else’ when she confronted an actor who used the insult ‘because I made others’ uncomfortable’.
Other allegations included that a staff member made fun of sexual language and another actor made fun of the use of the n-word, but then lied about it to HR.
Clanton said she ended a professional relationship after “approving / encouraging” this as an “office joke” when a staff member used the term “slave driver”.
The actor said she felt “ostracized and further marginalized” after exposing the behavior, and was told by HR that they were not sure what else they should do.
A spokesperson for Fremantle Media, the production company behind the longtime soap opera, said there had been “important and lengthy discussions” with Clanton during his time on the show.
“Neighbors strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on and off screen,” the spokesperson said.
“Our pursuit is always to continue to grow and develop in this field and we recognize that this is an evolving process. Shareena’s involvement in the creative process and on set has been invaluable and extremely educational and will benefit the series in the future. “
Clanton said she paid out of her own pocket to have a Wurundjeri elder on set to ensure cultural protocols were followed after being told the production was under budget.
She did not name anyone directly in the Instagram post.
Network Ten, which airs the show, directed the ABC to Fremantle’s statement when contacted for comment.
The Fremantle spokesperson said the production company “will continue to work with all of the cast and crew to ensure Neighbors continues to be a fully inclusive environment.”
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