Rachel Adedeji made the decision to leave Hollyoaks and handed in her notice before the start of lockdown.
Adedeji’s exit storyline will air later this year in September 2020.
A spokesperson for Hollyoaks told RadioTimes.com: “Rachel made the decision to leave Hollyoaks to pursue other opportunities earlier last year which saddened us at Hollyoaks as she is one of the leading cast members in the show.
“However, the notice period did allow the writers time to give Lisa Loveday an extremely gripping exit storyline. Viewers will see this story play out later this year as her final scenes were filmed shortly before lockdown.”
A spokesperson for Adedeji added: “It had always been our intention for Rachel to leave the show after a period of time. She loved her time on Hollyoaks and the exit storyline was openly discussed with the producers and her together, in a collaborative format.”
Adedeji recently voiced her anger towards the Channel 4 soap over their support of Black Lives Matter, sharing details of racism she said she had experienced and witnessed on the programme.
My thoughts on the Hollyoaks response to Black Lives Matter pic.twitter.com/jvOxzCQkl0
— Rachel Adedeji (@RachelASongs) June 5, 2020
“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?” she posted on Instagram.
“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 ‘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?”
Adedeji went on to call Hollyoaks’ post in support of the Black Lives Matter movement “performative and disingenuous”.
Hollyoaks have since launched an investigation into the matter and issued a statement saying they must “stamp out implicit bias”.
“Hollyoaks has been deeply shocked and saddened by issues that have been brought to our attention over the weekend,” the statement read. “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 continued:“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.”