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Neighbours concludes racism investigation ahead of show’s final episodes

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The inquiry into charges of racism on set, which began in April of last year, has been finished.

According to The Herald Sun in Australia, the study was completed in December 2021, but the findings and subsequent modifications were not made public.

Multiple cast members said they had witnessed episodes of bigotry on site, prompting the investigation.

Shareena Clanton said that coworkers made disrespectful comments, including racist slurs, and that when questioned, they retaliated violently. The set was a “culturally dangerous setting,” she said.

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Clanton remembered an incident in which she said an actor was pulled from set and encouraged to take cultural sensitivity training after using a racist slur repeatedly, while she was warned she was making others “uncomfortable” after calling out a fellow actor on using foul language.

Clanton went on to say that on other shows, “the kind of statements” she overheard on the soap “would undoubtedly [end in] swift dismissal.”

Meanwhile, Sharon Johal has claimed that she was subjected to “racist and bad behaviour” while working on the show.

She later admitted that her mental health suffered as a result of her involvement in the probe, characterising it as “all-encompassing at times” and “extensive and re-traumatizing over and over again.”

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Former co-stars Menik Gooneratne and Meyne Wyatt also spoke on social media about their experiences with prejudice while on the show.

In response to the allegations, the production company behind Neighbours launched a cultural review and an independent legal investigation, stating that it “was committed to ensuring a respectful and inclusive workplace for all employees on the set of Neighbours and take any questions about racism or any other form of discrimination very seriously.”

The outcome of the probe comes as the soap was declared to be ending after 37 years, following news that Channel 5 would no longer sponsor the show’s production and that no alternative UK broadcaster could be found in time.

The storey team has already begun work on the soap’s finale, which executive producer Jason Herbison has promised will be a celebration of Neighbours rather than a dramatic and explosive conclusion.

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He’s also attempting to resurrect some of the show’s most famous previous cast members, including Kylie Minogue as Charlene.

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