Hollyoaks actress Rachel Adedeji has quit the soap, it was announced on Wednesday. The news comes after a series of tweets in which she accused behind-the-scenes staff of racist behaviour. The star, who played Lisa Loveday, took to Twitter last Friday, where she posted about her experiences. She wrote: "I'm disappointed with Hollyoaks' approach to showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement… Did Black Lives Matter when I was told: "You're all the same" by a makeup artist you employed, and remains in employment to this day?"
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Rachel went on: "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 castmates are deemed angry, aggressive and too vocal?" The 28-year-old also detailed a racial slur which she says a member of the production team used to refer to herself and her co-stars, calling Hollyoaks' response to recent Black Lives Matter protests "performative and disingenuous".
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In response, the production company announced on Tuesday that it would be launching an investigation into backstage conduct, with producers saying they were "deeply shocked and saddened" by the situation. They added: "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."
Rachel joined the cast of Hollyoaks four years ago
The actress filmed her last scenes before lockdown started, so her leaving isn't a direct result of the show's response to Black Lives Matter protests and it's unclear to what extent it was motivated by her on-set experiences. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Chester-set series said: "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."
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Her spokesperson 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."
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