09:30 Fri Dec 9 2011
The Indian actor set to become a regular cast member on Neighbours has hit back at fans of the show who criticised him, saying they probably supported the White Australia policy.
Sachin Joab, who was born in Melbourne and is of Indian descent, has been cast as the father of the Kapoor family — an attempt by Neighbours to try and represent modern Australia.
Staff at the Channel 10 show have been forced to remove angry comments from their website as people vent their anger about a non-white family becoming residents of Ramsay St.
Joab said the racism boiled down to a lack of education, the Herald Sun reports.
“There is various pockets that will say it is un-Australian to have an Indian or an Indian family on Ramsay St.
“Those Aussies who are saying it is un-Australian will be the same ones who pretty much supported the White Australia policy back in the day, you are never going to get away from that kind of stuff.”
The program’s executive producer Susan Bowers said the show had been criticised for being “too white” and it was time Neighbours represented a more modern society.
“The ABC and SBS have always done it (cast multi-cultural Australians), and it was only 20 years ago you put Greeks and Italians on TV and people would question it,” Ms Bowers told the Herald Sun.
Actors Menik Gooneratne and Coco-Jacinta Cherian will complete the Kapoor family.