LAILA Rouass has accused Hollyoaks of bullying her in a series of explosive tweets today.
The actress played a police detective in the soap in 2003 but says she paid her way out of her contract on the show so she could leave early after her treatment.
In her tweets she claimed: “To those “at the top”I spoke to @Hollyoaks when I was there about comments made to me…you did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
“The fact is…you made me fear for my job so much so that I begged my agent to find me something else. You called me stupid, silly and so much more.
“My agent found me something else, I left and you made me pay 10’s of thousands of pounds to get out of my contract a couple of months early despite my experiences there…
“When I told you I didn’t want to feature in you annual calendar where we instructed to wear almost nothing, you booked my flight to Spain anyway.
“Your reasoning…’we don’t have anyone that looks like you on the show’. The pressure you put on me made me feel helpless and stuck..
“I got on that plane, I took the photo’s, I felt dirty and weak afterwards but luckily I got another job, paid my way out of the contract (which I’ve never heard of any actor doing) And I wasn’t featured in the calendar. It was the best money I spent.
“So now you’re going to do something about it. I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that. But the truth be told…where were you when I reached out?
“I can’t begin to imagine what other stories may surface but that was my experience. I managed 8 months and it was enough.
“On the bright side, I was inspired by the very young cast…I was inspired by their professionalism and their zest. Their kindness and the way they welcomed me has stayed with me since. #dobetter”
Hollyoaks have been approached for comment.
Today bosses announced they are bringing in “unconscious bias trainers” as part of a plan to stamp out racism on the show.
Lime Pictures – which produces the soap for Channel 4 – has released a statement confirming it is taking action after several cast members went public with their stories about racist treatment backstage.
A spokeswoman said: “Hollyoaks has been deeply shocked and saddened by issues that have been brought to our attention over the weekend.
“Lime Pictures strives to have zero tolerance of racism or any form of discrimination across all of its shows but it is clear we have further work to do.
“We must stamp out implicit bias which means calling out racism wherever and whenever we see it.
“We will continue to add to our action plan as we continue and broaden our dialogue with cast and staff.”
Lime Pictures set out a number of measures it was introducing to try and combat racial inequality among its cast and crew.
The statement continued: “We are reaching out to all of our cast and staff that have raised matters to make sure that we address individual issues and concerns.
“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.
“We are working with unconscious bias trainers to augment Lime’s all-staff training to help address concerns raised by cast and staff.”
All BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) staff, freelancers and cast will also be offered mentoring from Lime Pictures’ senior management.
The statement added: “We are undertaking an immediate and in depth review of company and cast liaison across Lime.
“We will be producing a Hollyoaks podcast where our black cast will share their experiences on racism to their audience.
“We are very conscious that we need to do more and are committed to making changes that we need to make.
“The onus is upon our company collectively and us all as individuals within our community to tackle racism, and it is a responsibility which all of us here at Hollyoaks are taking on fully.”
Rachel Adedeji accused Hollyoaks of being “performative and disingenuous” before listing the show’s shortcomings and said “systematic changes must be put into practice.”
Her comments have lead the show to launch an investigation, and now a number of Rachel’s co-stars have come out in support.
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.”
Posting to her Instagram Stories and Twitter last night, Rachel condemned the show, writing: “I am disappointed with Hollyoaks’ approach to showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement yesterday.
“Did Black Lives Matter when I was told “You’re all the same” by a make up artist you employed, and remains in employment til this day?”
The former X Factor contestant was responding to a video posted by the show which involved her on-screen aunt Kelle Bryan.
Rachel went on to detail some of the list problems at her workplace – including the lack of diversity in the directing team and shocking slurs from a senior member of production.
She said: “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.’?”
Rachel continued: “Do Black Lives really matter to you if over the last four years at Hollyoaks, I have only worked with one black director?”
Suggesting this was just scratching the surface, Rachel added: “Honestly, the list goes on.
“Having a black cast member speak on behalf of Hollyoaks to show that the work is being done is not as progessive as they think. As a matter of fact, very little is being done behind the scenes.”
Many of her co-stars came out to support her including, Karl Collins, who plays her on-screen father Louis Loveday, wrote in response: “Well….. it will come as no surprise that I love this woman who I affectionately call ‘darta!’.”
“I am so proud of her bravery! #speakyourtruth @RachelASongs #noliestold #BlackLivesMatterUK #BlackLivesMatter.”
Ross Adams – who plays Scott Drinkwell – added: “Sending you love, respect and solidarity. I commit to doing better, to educate myself and to stand by anyone facing discrimination anywhere.”
Meanwhile Nadine Mulkerrin, who plays Cleo McQueen, simply wrote: “I love you darling”
Simone Loveday actress Jacqueline Boatswain Simone Loveday added: ‘The truth will set you free!!! Speak on it!”