FORMER ‘NEIGHBOURS’ STAR REVEALS: ALL MULTICULTURAL ACTORS WERE WRITTEN OUT OF THE SOAP
Multiculturalism in Australian television was at the forefront of industry discussion in 2012 when ex ‘Home and Away’ star Jay Laga’aia and ‘House Husbands’ actor Firass Dirani spoke publicly about the matter.
However the issue has dived under the radar in recent months… until now.
Former ‘Neighbours’ star Sachin Joab has spoken exclusively to Digital Spy UK following his exit from the show and claims that it is merely a coincidence that all ethnic stars have been written out of the long running soap:
"We were definitely written out and it wasn’t of our own accord. We were actually dumbfounded by the decision and we had no idea that it was coming.
"It was more of a shock to us knowing that it wasn’t just one multicultural actor who was being written out, it was every single multicultural full-time actor on the show - myself, Menik Gooneratne who played Priya, Coco-Jacinta Cherian who played Rani, and Alin Sumarwata who played Vanessa. All four of us were written out in the first year of our full-time contracts, which felt like a massive step backwards in terms of cultural diversity on the show."
Joab made his debut on Neighbours in 2011 and received a combination of positive and negative audience reactions to his character Ajay Kapoor.
Reflecting on his experiences, the actor doesn’t see cultural diversity as a key element of Australian television production.
He continued in his Digital Spy interview:
"For some reason, Australia is stuck in some sort of time capsule and usually when you do see non-white characters on screen, it’s only in non-fiction when it’s needed for factual reasons. For some reason when it’s fiction over here, the industry chooses to exclude non-whites and include whites only.
"It’s very unrealistic given that Australia is a very multicultural country. The two main places where the shows are made, Melbourne and Sydney, are two of the most multicultural but that really isn’t reflected on screen."
To read the rest of Sachin’s interview with Digital Spy UK, click HERE .
What do you think? Does Aussie TV accurately reflect our nation’s cultural diversity?
Image Source: Sachin Joab Twitter