The daily serial Neighbours has been at the centre of racist allegations by ex-cast members.

Neighbours was created by Crossroads boss Reg Watson

Sky News report that the Reg Watson created programme will see an independent review take place over allegations of racism at the studios of the long-running saga.

The series has been at the centre of accusations by performer Shareena Clanton  – best known for her role in other Fremantle Production Wentworth – when she posted a statement on Instagram alleging she had suffered “multiple racist traumas” during her time working on the “highly problematic” show. She also spoke to a newspaper re-affirming the concerns and noted she had proof of the issues she has highlighted.

Shareena was backed by actor Meyne Wyatt who played regular Nate Kinski for three years from 2014, who also noted racist and homophobic comments had allegedly been spoken as common practice at the Global TV Studios base of the Fremantle Australia production.

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.

“We do not tolerate behaviour that does not align to our anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunity, harassment and 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.” – Chris Oliver-Taylor, chief executive of Fremantle Asia Pacific, said in a statement

Neighbours has been popular with viewers since 1985

The programme launched in 1985 in Australia when former Crossroads boss Reg Watson decided a serial set around several families on a cul-de-sac could be a ratings hit. The then Grundy Production initially aired on the Seven Network before switching to Network 10. In the UK Neighbours has aired on BBC One, but has spent the last 13-years on Channel 5.

During Reg’s time with Crossroads, he actively sought performers from various backgrounds including in 1965 friend of Sandy Daphne Foreman as Kate, boyfriend of Marilyn Salmaan Peer as Jamil and Cleo Sylvestre in 1969 as Meg’s adopted daughter Melanie Harper, while the show brought in soap opera’s first black family in 1974 with the Jamaica-born James family that included actress Elizabeth Adare and later Carl Andrews as Joe McDonald and Merdelle Jordine as Trina Jameson.

Reg Watson died in 2019 aged 95.

Full Story at Sky News

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