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Australian TV News

'Offspring', 'Secret Life of Us' producer joins Aussie TV racism row

By
Deborah Mailman

© WENN

The Secret Life of Us and Offspring's producer John Edwards has joined the TV racism debate in Australia.

Samoan actor Jay Laga'aia recently claimed that he was axed from Home and Away because of his race, while The Straits' Firass Dirani claimed that most Aussie TV networks do not "create roles for people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds".

Although the Seven Network labelled Laga'aia's comments as "offensive" and "insulting", the discussion has gone into overdrive as various other stars have joined the debate.

Edwards told The Age that he cast indigenous actress Deborah Mailman in both of his shows because she had presence, rather than because of her Aboriginal background.

He said: "Sometimes you do that when you're casting. You think, 'Who do you want to see on TV'?"

Edwards however admitted that casting Mailman "created other problems", because viewers started to wonder why her character didn't have Aboriginal friends.

He insisted that suitability rather than "type" should drive casting decisions, saying: "I would hate it if you patronisingly cast people for ethnicity when they're not good enough."

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