Jay Laga'aia slams Home and Away as racist
Thursday 16 Feb 2012 8:45 a.m.
Jay Laga'aia (AAP)
New Zealand-born actor Jay Laga'aia has accused Home and Away of being racist in a series of Twitter posts after being dumped from the show.
Laga'aia, of Samoan descent, claims he was dropped from the Channel 7 show because it already had an ‘ethnic’ star.
"As someone who lost his job on H&A because they couldn't write two ethnics that weren't together, I'd like the chance to ply my trade," stated Laga'aia on his Twitter account.
The accusation came just a day after Underbelly: The Golden Mile star Firass Dirani called for commercial Australian TV to dump a perceived "white Australia" policy and cast the "different flavours, different cultures" of contemporary Australia.
"Hats off to you Firass Dirani, for a call to stop commercial network producers casting only white actors. Only on Australian screens. Shame!" Laga'aia tweeted.
Channel 7 has strongly denied Laga'aia’s racist claims.
"Jay's comments are offensive," a Channel 7 spokesman said.
"We have great regard for Jay and his work on Home and Away during the last two years. It is insulting to suggest that Home and Away is racist. His character's storyline reached a natural conclusion."
Laga'aia has previously starred in Water Rats, Xena: Warrior Princess, Street Legal, Legend of the Seeker, ABC series Bed of Roses and two of the Star Wars prequels.