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'Neighbours' boss joins Australian TV diversity debate

By
The Kapoor Family
Neighbours

© Channel 5

Neighbours boss Richard Jasek has joined the debate over alleged racism in Australian TV casting.

The soap's executive producer, who took over from Susan Bower earlier this year, said that the show needs to reflect the diversity of the community more than it has in the past.

He told The Age: "Our instincts as storytellers is to tell a story about the world as we know it. There's never been pressure that we should or shouldn't have any kind of story.

''It's in our interests to keep the accent of the show current. It would be stupid to cast Anglo characters only. It's not a numbers game, it's about remaining in line with contemporary reality that has been put through our perspective."

Neighbours has previously faced criticism for a lack of ethnic diversity in casting choices, and Home and Away star Jay Laga'aia recently accused his show of racism in casting.

However, Jasek said that changes - driven by storytelling requirements - are taking place on Neighbours.

A family of Indian and Sri Lankan heritage recently moved into Ramsay Street, and there are guest roles played by actors of Chinese, Greek, African and Thai descent.

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