Aboriginal actor Meyne Wyatt on Tuesday called out the “rampant” homophobia and racism that he witnessed on the set of iconic Australian show Neighbours. Wyatt added his voice to the allegations of racism made by other Indigenous ex-Neighbours actors.
Wyatt had played the character of Nate Kinski, an Indigenous, openly gay former soldier living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on Neighbours between 2014 and 2016. Wyatt was the first Indigenous actor to appear on the main cast of Australia’s longest running TV drama.
It made for a very unsafe environment for anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and the shit needs to be stamped out. Racism and Homophobia needs an active and present force behind it to be driven out! Neighbours do better! The Film and TV Industry do better! Australia do better!
— Meyne Wyatt (@meynewyatt) April 6, 2021
Unsafe Envrionment For LGBTQI+
Wyatt revealed that he had heard homophobic comments, jokes and innuendos during his time on the set.
“And on top of that, the Homophobia that was present whilst I was on Neighbours, was fucking rampant! The comments and jokes and innuendos were ridiculous!”
“It made for a very unsafe environment for anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community and the shit needs to be stamped out. Racism and Homophobia needs an active and present force behind it to be driven out! Neighbours do better! The Film and TV Industry do better! Australia do better!” said Wyatt.
Clanton said the “N” word was openly used on the set, she had heard a staff member use the term “slave driver” and witnessed a “white actress openly calling another actress of colour a lil’ monkey”.
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A third Neighbours actor Sharon Johal, responded with three heart emojis on Clanton’s Instagram post.
Lack Of Indigenous Faces On TV
Indigenous actors are “tired of calling this shit out” said Wyatt who pointed out that attitudes and lack of representation in mainstream Australian films and shows continued to this day.
“I don’t see a lot of Indigenous actors on the show or on any prime time Television series, whether it be Neighbours, Home and Away, anything on Channel 7, 9 or Ten for that matter. Stan and Netflix take note! But these attitudes are prevalent throughout the industry,” the actor added.
Fremantle Media, the show’s producer committed to diversity and inclusion. “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,” a spokesperson told BBC.
Neighbours has been broadcast since 1985 and chronicles the lives of residents of Ramsay Street, located in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. Hollywood actors like Margot Robbie, Russel Crowe, and Liam Hemsworth and pop star Kylie Minogue first found fame as actors for their roles in Neighbours.