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“Hollyoaks” Launches Investigation Into Racism Claims By Rachel Adedeji

Rachel Adedeji | Image: The Independent UK

“Hollyoaks” has launched an investigation after British-Nigerian actress Rachel Adedeji opened up about racism on the set of the soap opera.

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Adedeji on Saturday tweeted that she was “disappointed” in response to news that Hollyoaks was planning to address the Black Lives Matter movement with a special podcast series about racism. The actress, who has appeared in more than 200 episodes of the show, shared her experience and the treatment of the black cast on the show.

“I am disappointed with Hollyoaks’ approach to showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement yesterday,” she wrote.

“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?

Adedeji alleged that she was told “you’re all the same” by a make-up artist on the show and that black cast members were referred to as “blackies” by a senior member of the production team.

Adedeji, who has appeared on the show since 2016, claimed that female black actors were “forced to drastically change their hair” for fear that viewers “would not be able to tell them apart.” She also said she has only worked with one black director in four years on the show.

“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 said. “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.”

In a statement on Hollyoaks‘ official Instagram page over the weekend, producers said:

“Hollyoaks has zero tolerance on racism. We are taking Rachel Adedeji extremely seriously and are investigating.”

Hollyoaks is a British soap opera which began airing on 23 October 1995. The programme has won 39 British Soap Awards, 18 Inside Soap Awards, one TRIC Award, and one National Television Award. It won the award for Best British Soap twice, in 2014 and 2019; its first win broke the 15-year tie between rival soap operas EastEnders and Coronation Street.

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