Hollyoaks Admits It Needs To Do More After Rachel Adedeji Shares Experiences Of Racism At C4 Soap

Last week, the actor said that "very little is being done" behind the scenes to combat racism.

Hollyoaks bosses have announced they’re introducing new measures to tackle racism after cast member Rachel Adedeji spoke of her own experiences on the show.

Last week, the actor – who has played Lisa Loveday on the Channel 4 soap since 2016 – shared her thoughts on the show’s response to Black Lives Matter, after it was announced Hollyoaks was going to be unveiling a new podcast about racial injustice.

She wrote: “I am disappointed with Hollyoaks’ approach to showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Did Black Lives Matter when I was told ‘You’re all the same’ by a make-up artist you employed, and remains in employment till 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 cast mates are deemed angry, aggressive and too vocal?

“Did Black Lives Matter when we were referred to as ‘b******s’ 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?”

Rachel Adedeji at last year's British Soap Awards
Rachel Adedeji at last year's British Soap Awards
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Rachel added “very little is being done behind the scenes”, and in response Lime Pictures – who produce Hollyoaks – has unveiled plans to tackle the issues raised.

In a statement, they said: “Hollyoaks has been deeply shocked and saddened by issues that have been brought to our attention over the weekend. 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. We will continue to add to our action plan as we continue and broaden our dialogue with cast and staff.”

They then outlined their plans, which include everyone employed by Lime Pictures being given training on unconscious bias, while staff, freelancers and cast members from BAME communities will be given mentorship “from Lime’s senior management”.

The cast of Hollyoaks at last year's Inside Soap Awards
The cast of Hollyoaks at last year's Inside Soap Awards
Mike Marsland via Getty Images

Bosses have also committed to reviewing their schemes for BAME writers and directors, and have said they are “build[ing] on our work towards making Lime as diverse and inclusive as possible across all aspects of recruitment and talent retention, on and off screen”.

“We are very conscious that we need to do more and are committed to making changes that we need to make,” they added.

“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.”

Read Lime Pictures’ full statement here.

On Saturday, a short post on Hollyoaks’ Twitter account said: “Hollyoaks has zero tolerance on racism. We are taking Rachel Adedeji’s comments extremely seriously and are investigating.”

Rachel was also applauded for speaking out by her former co-stars Jacqueline Boatswain and Karl Collins, who played her on-screen parents Simone and Louis Loveday.

“The truth will set you free!!! Speak on it,” Jacqueline wrote.

Karl added: “Well..... it will come as no surprise that I love this woman who I affectionately call ‘darta!’ I am so proud of her bravery!”


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