FORMER Hollyoaks actress Amanda Clapham has spoken out against the soap after Rachel Adedeji accused it of backstage racism.
Amanda, who played the role of Holly Cunningham from 2013 until 2019, took to Twitter and Instagram to have her say earlier today.
She began her message, which was addressed to executive producer Bryan Kirkwood and senior members of staff, with: "I loved my time at Hollyoaks. It was an amazing experience for me; I learnt a lot, I made great friends and it changed my life. I’m a blonde, blue eyed, white girl.
"I have a lot of love for Hollyoaks and plenty of friends that still work there, which is why I want you to do the right thing and why I am saying this."
She continued: "On your response to Rachel Adedeji on Instagram, I saw no empathy at all. You could have taken less time to respond if that’s what you needed but this really does not sit right.
"She has told you about many encounters that will have been traumatising for her and you refer to her messages as ‘comments’.
"Let me be clear, I have learnt a lot this week, like I’m sure many of us have. I thought I was anti-racist when in fact I wasn’t quite there. It’s true, we all need to change.
"Please know this is coming from the heart. I hope you respond by apologising to Rachel.
"I want you to say that you are going to improve by proactively making changes within the building in each department. It’s the conversation that needs to be had."
Referring to a specific time she was working with Rachel, who plays Lisa Loveday, Amanda said: “I was on set with Rachel not long after she joined the show and a makeup artist brought out a face powder for her.
"The powder had ‘dark’ written on it and it was 2 shades darker than Rachel’s skin complexion.
"When she asked if she could have the correct powder to match her skin tone she was told, no and that that was all they had. I remember saying to Rachel at the time that it didn’t look right at all and I could tell Rachel felt she had no choice.
"This shouldn’t have been the case, and I knew then, what I know now, I would have raised my voice in support," Amanda added.
The actress went on to reference another black actor she had worked with on the Channel 4 soap who she claimed was "picked out" and the "many micro aggressions" she had witnessed.
"The examples given are a snapshot of the behaviours I witnessed on a regular basis.
"Whilst I’m not in a position to assign blame on any individual, change is systemically needed for the company as a whole to grow as an inclusive example for its viewers and community at large.
"The future for Hollyoaks can be and should be better for all people of colour, as a company you can all work on that together.
Amanda finished her letter with: “You do so much good with your storylines and I was lucky to be a part of that. So please listen to those that have spoken up, so that Hollyoaks can be a positive experience for everyone."
Amanda's letter comes after it was reported that Hollyoaks has launched an investigation after Rachel slammed the soap over its "disappointing" stance on the Black Lives Matter movement.
The star called the Channel 4 soap’s response “performative and disingenuous” and said “systematic changes must be put into practice.”
Now the soap has issued a statement saying: "Hollyoaks has zero tolerance on racism. We are taking Rachel Adedeji's comments extremely seriously and are investigating."
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