Hollyoaks issue statement after Rachel Adedeji's racism accusations: "We must stamp out implicit bias"
"We are very conscious that we need to do more and are committed to making changes that we need to make."
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement that is sweeping the globe, Hollyoaks star Rachel Adedeji took the opportunity to shed light on some racial injustices she said she had experienced during her time on the Channel 4 soap.
Taking to Twitter on Friday evening (5th June), Adedeji issued a statement concerning her experiences and since then, Hollyoaks' producers Lime Pictures has responded to the claims, explaining how they will be investigating the matter.
The statement issued on 9th June reads: "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. We have already launched a series of next steps, set out below:
"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 behaviour 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."
The statement continues: "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 company and cast liaisons 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 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," it concludes.
Following Adedeji's statement, several members of the Hollyoaks cast, past and present, praised her for speaking out, including Karl Collins, who wrote: “Well… it will come as no surprise that I love this woman who I affectionately call ‘darta’ I am so proudof her bravery! #speakyourtruth #noliestold #BlackLivesMatterUK #BlackLivesMatter.”
Ross Adams, Nadine Mulkerrin, Jacqualine Boatswain and Owen Warner all added their messages of support to Adedeji.