Sachin Joab who played Ajay Kupor on Neighbours has hit out at the producers in an interview with Digital Spy
Mr Joab claims that there was a lot of positive feedback for the Kupor Family , in particular from the UK and other places in Europe. Given that the show is made in Australia, it’s kind of ironic that there was some negativity which was thrown at us over here. We did have some positive feedback too, but generally speaking, there were a lot of negative comments which came our way.
“That frustrated all of us and we would all speak about it, but I was probably the one who spoke publicly about it more often. I really hoped that by speaking out, some of the people who were being negative might feel differently.”
it was apparently a shock to be leaving the soap It was more of a shock to us knowing that it wasn’t just one multicultural actor who was being written out, it was every single multicultural full-time actor on the show – myself, Menik Gooneratne who played Priya, Coco-Jacinta Cherian who played Rani, and Alin Sumarwata who played Vanessa. All four of us were written out in the first year of our full-time contracts, which felt like a massive step backwards in terms of cultural diversity on the show.
“All four of us were hired by the previous producer Susan Bower, and it was the new producers who came in and decided to let us go in one shot, after just a year. We were all really hurt as we’d all been part of extremely heavy storylines and after working so hard on those, we really felt that we’d earned a second year on the show. Instead, they’ve now brought in another all-Caucasian family and returned Ramsay Street to all-white characters.”
He later went on to state that Australia is stuck in some sort of time capsule and usually when you do see non-white characters on screen, it’s only in non-fiction when it’s needed for factual reasons. For some reason when it’s fiction over here, the industry chooses to exclude non-whites and include whites only.
“It’s very unrealistic given that Australia is a very multicultural country. The two main places where the shows are made, Melbourne and Sydney, are two of the most multicultural but that really isn’t reflected on screen.”
Neighbours Producer Richard Jasek provides the following statement at the end of the interview.
“It is the nature of a long running daily series that characters will come and go from time to time through the evolution of storylines. Characters’ departures from Neighbours are quite regular as part of the storytelling process and these changes are always for editorial reasons.
“We all miss Sachin – he was an exceptional actor and a great friend to all the cast and crew. The Kapoors were at the forefront of some memorable storylines which is testament to Sachin’s talent.”