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‘Hollyoaks’ Owner Is Addressing Racism and Other Issues Raised by Cast and Crew to Help Stamp Out Implicit Bias

‘Hollyoaks’ Owner Is Addressing Racism and Other Issues Raised by Cast and Crew to Help Stamp Out Implicit Bias

The Black Lives Matter movement has reached across the pond forcing industries across the world to address implicit bias, racism and misogyny, among other issues. Lime Pictures, which produces dozens of programs for Channel 4 and ITV, among others, in the United Kingdom, including the popular soap opera “Hollyoaks,” is taking matters one step further by calling for the cast and crews of its shows to continue sharing their concerns over instances of “unacceptable behavior that they have not previously raised.”

Over the weekend, Lime Pictures was made aware of a host of issues that have been part of an ongoing systemic problem behind the scenes of its programs. The studio says it was “deeply shocked and saddened” by what they had learned. Their response stems from allegations made by actress Rachel Adedeji who plays Lisa Loveday on the series who said on Twitter recently, “Working at ‘Hollyoaks’ is mostly positive, but the experiences I have encountered are a constant reminder of how difficult it is being a black woman in the industry.” She added, “I am no longer standing for it.” Adedeji also claimed that she was once told “you’re all the same” by a make-up artist, and her black female co-stars were told to change their look as viewers “would not be able to tell them apart.”

“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,” read a statement on the company’s website. “We will continue to add to our action plan as we continue and broaden our dialogue with cast and staff.”

One instance to address these issues includes the introduction of a “Hollyoaks” podcast where black cast members can share their experiences on racism to the show’s viewers.

A list of next steps was posted, and they include:

  • 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 behavior 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 the 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 studio’s statement notes. “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.”

“Hollyoaks” airs on Channel 4 and E4 in the United Kingdom. Production on the series is set to resume this week after it was shut down in March due to COVID-19 concerns. Filming is set to recommence beginning sometime in July.

Earlier today, “The Young and the Restless'” Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters) called out the show and its producers for systemic racism, an issue she says has plagued the series for all of its more than 47 years on the air.

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