All3media owned indie Lime Pictures has launched an investigation into the treatment of black cast members on Hollyoaks after actress Rachel Adedeji raised issues about racism on set.
Adedeji, who appeared in 200 episodes of the soap, listed various instances of mistreatment on set including a make up artist saying “you’re all the same” in reference to black cast members and a senior member of the production team using a racial slur. She also claimed that black actors were asked to change their hairstyles otherwise viewers “would not be able to tell them apart.”
In response, Lime Pictures has issued the following statement:
Hollyoaks has been deeply shocked and saddened by issues that have been brought to our attention over the weekend. Lime Pictures strives to have zero tolerance of racism or any form of discrimination across all of its shows but it is clear we have further work to do. We must stamp out implicit bias which means calling out racism wherever and whenever we see it. We will continue to add to our action plan as we continue and broaden our dialogue with cast and staff. We have already launched a series of next steps, set out below:
We are reaching out to all of our cast and staff that have raised matters to make sure that we address individual issues and concerns;
We have asked all cast, staff and freelancers to share with us any further issues of concern or instances of unacceptable behaviour that they have not previously raised;
We are working with unconscious bias trainers to augment Lime’s all staff training to help address concerns raised by cast and staff;
All BAME staff, freelancers and cast will be offered mentoring from Lime’s senior management;
We will build on our work towards making Lime as diverse and inclusive as possible across all aspects of recruitment and talent retention, on and off screen;
Lime’s BAME writers and directors schemes will be reviewed and augmented to drive greater inclusivity within the industry;
We are undertaking an immediate and in depth review of company and cast liaison across Lime;
We will be producing a Hollyoaks podcast where our black cast will share their experiences on racism to their audience.
We are very conscious that we need to do more and are committed to making changes that we need to make. The onus is upon our company collectively and us all as individuals within our community to tackle racism, and it is a responsibility which all of us here at Hollyoaks are taking on fully.
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