"Too white" Neighbours defends casting

By David Knox on July 19, 2008 / Filed Under News 10

Neighbours producers have hit back at criticism of the show after it was identified by Britain’s anti-racism watchdog as “hideously white”.

The characters portrayed included a Tibetan and Belarusian, and a Greek character would soon appear on the show, they said.

Britain’s Equal and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips made the comment this week after receiving complaints from black and Asian viewers.

“There are minority faces on TV, but it’s that we’re not getting it right, because we do not really have any minority decision-makers,” he said.

Dr Szoke, head of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission agreed.

“If you do think about those shows, how many have indigenous actors, how many have Sudanese actors, how many have actors from Iraq or those who are clearly of Muslim faith?” she said (did she Kick?).

She said shows such as Neighbours and Home and Away should rise to the challenge and create more diverse characters.

But Neighbours executive producer Susan Bower said that over the years Ramsay St had hosted characters and actors from many cultural backgrounds.

“Our core cast are from diverse ethnic backgrounds including French, Italian, South African, Maltese, Danish, Portuguese and Swedish,” she said. “As with all drama series, Neighbours has always cast the best actor for the role,” she said.

Source: news.com.au

10 Comments »

  1. Joe November 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm -

    French, Italian, South African, Maltese, Danish, Portuguese and Swedish….white, white, white, white, white, white, white…she hasn’t addressed the complaint.

  2. Ian July 20, 2008 at 5:10 pm -

    how are we ever meant to catch up with you guys, if you never take any breaks.

  3. David Knox July 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm -

    Neighbours production has breaks in December-January and 2 weeks mid year. On air it runs late Jan – early Dec without a break.

  4. Ian July 20, 2008 at 1:53 pm -

    well first off I think it would be wrong for Neighbours to have to deal with the minorities that UK TV tends to focus on, however it should represent some of the Aussie minorities.

    An "islander" family could be a good thing, a mum & dad looking to leave that part of there life behind, and a teen who wants to explore it.

    actually I think the UK thing is part of the problem with Neighbours, it ends up having to play this kind of thing safe, and it doesn't represent Australian culture as much as I would like it to, which might also explain its Aussie ratings issues.

    Is neighbours having a summer break?

  5. lancer1993 July 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm -

    Seriously people have too much time on their hands, if you don’t like it watch something else, like I do!

    Moving Wallpaper and Echo beach are much better!

  6. KnoxOverstreet July 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm -

    Yeah so Neighbours are certainly doing better in this area then H&A which is all surfie type himbos n bimbos!

  7. Phil July 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm -

    I think some of the backgrounds are being shown but not all. The Aboriginal community should be shown more on Neighbours I reckon. But serouisly, the last time the show had an Asian character was in 2007 with Katya. That was only one year ago. In the past, there’s been Lori. They don’t look very deep into these issues.

  8. Bobby July 19, 2008 at 1:24 pm -

    Greek and Belarussian, Oh please they are white Europeans!

    When was the last time you saw an Asian, Indian, Aborginal actor in these shows?

    You just have to look at the nightly news and see how bereft we are of ethnic presenters!

  9. amir July 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm -

    LOL. Agreed with sillygostly. No-one on that show can act. Pfft.

    Plus, Home & Away has an Asian character…Jai.

  10. Sillygostly July 19, 2008 at 10:31 am -

    “As with all drama series, Neighbours has always cast the best actor for the role”

    BAWHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHA!

    Hold on, she was SERIOUS?! Let me laugh even harder…

    BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHA!

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