Diversifying Neighbour’s ‘White’ Image

In response to Neighbours criticism for being too white, Susan Bower, executive producer of Neighbours, decided to add an asian character, Sunny, to the cast in April of 2009. Part of Australia’s content regulations insist that Australian drama reflect an accurate portrayal Australian way of life and minority groups. In reality, Australia is made up of many different cultures, but often the media only represents “White Australia.” This is the goal of Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), to provide television for Australia’s ethnic community, however, I argue that all of Australia’s networks should do this. By only having one channel for “ethnic” purposes it segregates media for particular sets of people. Furthermore, adding just one ethnic character to Neighbours is not going to solve the problem,

Sunny, from Neighbours

I find it interesting, that  Neighbours also chose to have a minority character take on a lesbian kiss. I argue that this lesbian controversy and of critic’s dislike of Sunny’s contradictory role is  the reason why Sunny was not invited back to the show after a 6 month run.

Is there a chance that Australia will ever have a a successful Asian lead television actress that is not feature on SBS?


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