Neighbours' Shareena Clayton says she experienced racist behaviour on set

Amy West
·3-min read

From Digital Spy

Neighbours newcomer Shareena Clanton has vowed that she will "never work" on the soap again, having alleged she experienced "multiple racist traumas" during her time on set.

The Australian actor, who was cast as a 'second' Sheila Canning a few weeks back, took to Instagram on Monday (April 5) to share a black-and-white selfie of herself in front of a 'Ramsay Street' sign.

Alongside the snap, she wrote a lengthy caption that explained how she was "struggling to post anything positive" about the months she'd spent working on the long-running show, and that she is now "navigating ongoing counselling" following her stint on the "highly problematic" series.

Photo credit: Don Arnold - Getty Images
Photo credit: Don Arnold - Getty Images

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"It's been lonely and triggering to work in such a culturally unsafe space," Clanton wrote, before recalling specific experiences that she deemed to be inappropriate.

Purposefully leaving out names as a means to "avoid any lawsuit by the production or a potential defamation case", the Wentworth star claimed that she had overheard a racial slur being used twice mid-filming, and that when she called out one colleague who used it in front of her, she was told by HR that she was "making others 'uncomfortable'".

"She said that I 'misconstrued' what she was 'laughing at' and that she was laughing at 'something else'. That is a blatant lie," Clanton went on, before suggesting that certain cast and crew members would use phrases such as "slave driver" and "lil' monkey" and try and pass it off as "office banter".

She also said she was "ostracised and further marginalised" when addressing raising issues with several individuals' conduct.

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

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Elsewhere, "a Head of Department thought it funny to openly laugh at the word 'cum slut' by a cast member who loudly spoke about 'cum, cum, cum'" while they were off-camera.

"Due to my cultural protocols and insistence of engaging a Wurundjeri Elder in Residence to be on a weekly payment schedule for cultural safety and debriefing, I was told, 'This is not a film production, Shareena' and that 'We simply don't have the budget,'" Clanton continued.

"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.'"

A spokesperson for Fremantle Media Australia, which produces Neighbours, commented (via TV Tonight): "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."

Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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