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Hollyoaks to investigate after Rachel Adedeji reports racism on set

Hollyoaks to investigate after Rachel Adedeji reports racism on set
© Channel 4
Hollyoaks launch an investigation after cast member Rachel Adedeji alleges that she has experienced racism during her time on the soap.

Hollyoaks has launched an investigation after cast member Rachel Adedeji alleged that she had experienced racism on the set of the soap.

The 28-year-old, who has played Lisa Loveday since 2016, released a lengthy, powerful statement on social media after the show's Twitter account expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I am disappointed with Hollyoaks' approach with showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement yesterday," she wrote. "Did Black Lives Matter when I was told 'you're all the same' via a make up artist you employed and remains in employment to this day?

"Did Black Lives Matter when a number of female black actors were forced to drastically change their hair, because if not, the viewers 'would not be able to tell them apart'? Do Black Lives Matter when my fellow black castmates are deemed 'angry, aggressive and too vocal'?

"Did Black Lives Matter when referred to as 'blackies' by a senior member of the production team? Do Black Lives really matter to you if over the last four years at Hollyoaks, I have only worked with one black director?

"Honestly, the list goes on. Having a black cast member speak on behalf of Hollyoaks to show that the work is being done is not as progressive as they think. As a matter of fact, very little is being done behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, Hollyoaks' response seems to me, performative and disingenuous. It starts within the workplace. Systemic changes must be put into practice.

"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. I am no longer standing for it. Putting out a podcast on racism and asking your black members to teach you how to tackle racism is the bare minimum.

"THINK. DO BETTER. I hope Hollyoaks delivers the same energy when #BlackLivesMatter is no longer trending."

Responding to Adedeji's allegations today, a spokesperson for the soap said: "Hollyoaks has zero tolerance on racism. We are taking Rachel Adedeji's comments extremely seriously and are investigating."

The Black Lives Matter movement has had a resurgence over the last fortnight following the horrific death of George Floyd, an American-African man who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes.

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