Neighbours has made a huge splash with their latest casting announcement, adding the show’s first ever non-binary character.
Kathleen Ebbs, 24, posted the first look at their character Asher Nesmith on Instagram with a heartfelt message.
“Stoked to finally announce that I have been cast as Asher Nesmith on Neighbours,” they began.
“Welcoming the first non-binary character to hit Ramsay Street.”
The star went on to explain that they grew up watching the “iconic soap”, and feels grateful to provide representation on TV that didn’t exist when they were young.
Kathleen’s character will first appear on May 10th, and many of their celebrity friends were quick to congratulate the star.
The star posted another photo of their time on Neighbours, explaining how important this role is, and admits they feel pressure to do well.
“Being the first non-binary character to appear on Neighbours has been a very emotional thing for me," they said.
“A part of me feels the pressure, but beyond that I am so grateful that Neighbours chose me to be that representation for young queer people and educate an audience of our existence."
This comes after Rob Mills slammed the show’s cancellation, arguing that Neighbours tells so many important, diverse stories.
Rob highlighted that the soap has made such a huge difference to the Australian media landscape, listing the diverse storylines they’ve tackled.
“It was the first show to have a same sex marriage, it has a trans actor, and a super diverse cast," he said.
He’s proud of how the show hasn’t shined a spotlight on complex issues, but instead helped normalise them so that Australians can do the same in everyday life.
Clearly disappointed there wasn’t enough support to save the show after 37 years on air, he took aim at the government.
“It could be a reflection on how this government spends money on the arts,” he muses.
“I’m not saying if the Labor government was in that they would save Neighbours, but they would [have done] a bit more.”
He admits that it’s fair for the UK Broadcaster Channel 5 to move towards more local content, and argues that this could be a sign for Australian broadcasters to do the same.
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