Neighbors Actor Reportedly Removed From Set After Complaints Of Racism From Indigenous Actor Shareena Clanton | Australia News

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Racial slurs during the filming of the television series Neighbors became so blatant earlier this year that an actor had to be taken off the set for a week and ordered to undergo cultural sensitivity training, claims one of the stars guests of the soap opera.

First Nations actor Shareena Clanton, who worked on the set in January and February 2021, said human resources staff employed by the show’s creator, Fremantle, resorted to the creation of green spaces makeshift separated to keep the peace between the cast and crew, after the alleged offending actor repeatedly used the “n” word in his presence.

Speaking exclusively to Guardian Australia after going public with allegations of racism and misogyny on the show’s set, Clanton, a Melbourne-based actor of Wangatha, Yamatji, Noongar and Gidja origin, described him as a “toxic” environment, with an “unhealthy level of silent complicity” from other actors and management.

“There were a lot of very inflammatory, sexist, misogynistic, rude and rude comments – the kind of comments I would make in any other workspace. [result in] immediate dismissal, ”she said.

“But somehow people just kept on having a nice word said to each other, or having a polite plumb word in between. [the alleged perpetrator] and the person who was offended by what was said.

Clanton alleges that when she protested to the actor about the alleged use of the “n” word, another colleague defended them, arguing that the word was in common use in popular culture.

“A member of staff then turned to me and said I had to take her somewhere else because I was making others uncomfortable,” she said.

Clanton said it was only after the actor repeated the term racist in a subsequent incident that the actor in question was spoken to, temporarily removed from the set and ordered to undergo cultural training.

It is not known whether this training was provided in-house by Fremantle, Channel 10 or by an outside organization. The Guardian has asked Fremantle for clarification.

Best known for her continuing role in another Fremantle TV series, Wentworth, Clanton told The Guardian that she knew her decision to report the behavior on the Neighbors set would likely have a negative impact on her future career prospects.

Shareena Clanton at a protest organized by Aboriginal rights activists on Australia Day in Melbourne, January 26, 2017.
Shareena Clanton at a protest by Aboriginal rights activists on Australia Day in Melbourne 2017. Photography: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

“But I think for me it’s not unreasonable to talk about these individual experiences, because they are part of a collective of toxic work environments,” she said.

“It’s no more [about] protect individuals or a work environment or a production house that has different levels of complicity and [continues to allow] unhealthy and toxic conduct in the workplace that simply would not be tolerated anywhere outside of the film industry. “

Before speaking to The Guardian, Clanton posted a chilling account of her experiences with Neighbors on Instagram, concluding that she would never work on the show again.

In addition to allegations of an actor using the “n” word, Clanton alleges that another coworker repeatedly used the phrase “cum slut” to describe a character she was working on for another show.

In another incident, Clanton alleges that a white actor called another colored actor a “little monkey” and Clanton said she tried to explain to the actor why the term was so offensive.

“I’ve been called a monkey and ape all my life by white Australia,” she told The Guardian.

“And then I brought it up with HR and they said, ‘I’m not sure what else I can do from here.

Clanton also said she had to pay part of her own salary for the cost of having Wurundjeri elder Aunty Diane Kerr on set for several months to ensure the production adheres to appropriate cultural safety protocols while still working on the country.

The Guardian asked Fremantle for a response. In a statement to the Australian Associated Press on Tuesday, the production house said Neighbors, now in its 35th year, “strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on and off screen. “.

“Our quest is always to continue to grow and develop in this area and we recognize that this is an evolving process,” the statement said.

“Shareena’s involvement in the creation process and on set has been invaluable and extremely educational and will benefit the series going forward.

“There have been important and lengthy discussions with Shareena during her time on Neighbors and we will continue to work with all of the players and the team to ensure Neighbors continues to be a fully inclusive environment.

On Tuesday evening, First Nations actor Meyne Wyatt posted on Twitter, claiming he was also a victim of racism while working on the Neighbors set between 2014 and 2016.

“It is disappointing but not at all surprising to hear that five years later racism continues to be present in this workplace,” he said.

Other Australian actors who have supported Clanton on social media include Sharon Johal, who recently completed a four-year stint as Dipi Rebecchi in Neighbors, Belinda Bromilow (The Great and Packed to the Rafters) and co- Clanton Wentworth star Zoe Terakes.

The actor also withstood a barrage of criticism for speaking out on social media, with accusations of being a “whiner,” the recipient of a token casting and racist comments about the hiring. actors of color.

In response, Clanton replied on his Instagram page Wednesday: “I have no qualms about criticizing such power structures. What do I have to gain here by telling the truth to one of the world’s most powerful, multi-million dollar production houses like Fremantle Media? I’m the one at risk of being blacklisted. “

In the Instagram post, she said she had evidence and documents to back up her claims.

“There are a lot of horror stories from other First Nations people and underrepresented communities about what they experience on set and in history rooms,” she wrote. “Believe them.”

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