Neighbours casts Meyne Wyatt as first indigenous actor in a main role
The Australian soap opera has been accused of being 'whitebread' in its casting
Popular Australian soap opera Neighbours has cast its first indigenous actor in a substantial role since the show began in 1985.
The country has been accused of being “whitebread” on stage and screen and, as such, is making effort to widen opportunities for people from all backgrounds and promote cultural diversity.
Meyne Wyatt, 24, will play non-indigenous character Nate Kinski in an ongoing role. Nate is loosely linked to Susan Kennedy, who was once married to his uncle.
Filming with Wyatt has started in Melbourne, but Channel Ten insist that the casting decision was not based on his background.
“While cultural diversity is definitely important, in cases where we don’t need a specific ethnic background, our brief to agents is to put forward their best people and that was the case for this character,” said Jason Herbison, Neighbours series producer.
“Meyne is an exceptional, young, award-winning actor and very much on the radar of casting directors. From his first audition, we knew we had found the best actor for the role.”
Wyatt is not the first indigenous actor ever to appear in the soap. Tony Briggs, who later wrote hit play The Sapphires, guest-starred as sports-loving bank clerk Pete Baxter during the late Eighties, alongside Kylie Minogue and Jason Donavan.
Tony Briggs was the first indigenous actor on Neighbours
Briggs has spoken before about his casting experiences, telling New Zealand website Stuff that he feels “Aboriginal people are not welcoming in the living room”.
“I just want audiences to see us represented as we really are, with humour and laughter and an open-hearted family life – that’s our mob,” he said.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes