NEIGHBOURS PARTNERED WITH SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS
Sydney, January 25, 2019: Fremantle was thrilled to announce the country's iconic drama Neighbours, this year partnered with one of the world’s most acclaimed arts, culture and social justice festivals, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Fremantle and Neighbours were immensely proud to have had the program represented in the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade. Cast and crew marched to celebrate equality and inclusiveness at the event, and to thank the LGBTQI community. Neighbours also had a presence at the Mardi Gras’ fabulous community event, Fair Day.
In 2018 Neighbours made history with the first same-sex marriage for an Australian television drama following the landmark change to the Marriage Act when its much-loved characters Aaron (Matt Wilson) and David (Takaya Honda) took their vows. Their wedding celebrant was played by marriage equality activist and legendary comedian/actress Magda Szubanski.
The partnership between Neighbours and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras acknowledged the importance of high-profile representation of the LGBTQI community in Australian television story-telling. The Neighbours parade float celebrated the marriage of Aaron and David and the on-air community that embraced their union.
Chris Oliver-Taylor, CEO Asia Pacific, Fremantle, says: “This was such an important moment for Fremantle and Neighbours. We were elated to be a partner of Mardi Gras and to proudly share our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusiveness. We were humbled by the opportunity to celebrate with the LGBTQI community.”
Terese Casu, CEO, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, says: “We were absolutely thrilled to see LGBTQI representation on one of Australia’s most iconic TV shows, Neighbours. It’s so important that our community are able to see themselves in popular culture.”
Jason Herbison, Executive Producer, Neighbours, says: “Everyone is welcome on Ramsay Street. We were so excited to stand among our brothers and sisters at Mardi Gras and share our commitment to equality. We were also pleased to film a storyline around the parade. Love is love and it’s here to stay on Neighbours.”
A unique and ground-breaking element of the Neighbours and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras partnership, was the opportunity for Neighbours to shoot scenes during the Parade festivities for a storyline that will feature in upcoming episodes.
Neighbours introduced the first regular gay character to Ramsay Street in 2011 and have maintained diversity in the regular cast ever since, currently with three core characters from the LGBTQI community.
At Fremantle we take the responsibility of our stories reaching millions around the world very seriously. We are working hard to create storylines and characters that reflect the diversity of Australia and spark conversation about important social issues.
Fremantle is the place that creatives call home – regardless of who they are or where they come from. We know that great ideas and bold thinking can come from anywhere and anyone and we know that a diverse and representative workforce is crucial in enabling us to create irresistible entertainment for everyone. We firmly believe that this sort of creative magic flows best when diverse people work together in an inclusive environment.
For over 40 years, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have provided a creative platform for the community to celebrate its achievements and bring global attention to social justice issues. The 2019 Mardi Gras ‘Fearless’ Festival ran from February 15 – March 3.
Neighbours. 6.30pm Weeknights. Only On 10 Peach.
Mardi Gras Media Enquiries
Original Spin - Matt Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org 0401 326 007
Fremantle/Neighbours Media Enquiries
Steven Murphy, Director of Communications, Digital & Brands email@example.com 0413 842 932
ABOUT SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is the non-for-profit member-based organisation that produces the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and Festival as well as a number of other events throughout the year. SGLMG exists primarily to develop the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the benefit of Sydney’s LGBTQI community, the enjoyment of a wider audience and as a global beacon of diversity, acceptance and LGBTQI rights.
ABOUT FREMANTLE, AUSTRALIA
Fremantle is one of the market leaders in the creation and production of entertainment brands in Australia. Their productions include the hugely successful Australia’s Got Talent, Family Feud, Great Australian Bake Off, Grand Designs Australia, Take Me Out, Escape from the City and The Farmer Wants A Wife; and original drama such as Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Neighbours, Mary: Making Of A Princess, Wonderland, Better Man and Devils Dust. FremantleMedia Australia is also at the forefront in the creation and production of digital media content, brand integration and brand extensions including the popular Grand Designs Magazine and Australia's number one selling boardgame, Family Feud. FremantleMedia is one of the largest international content production companies in the world with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming with market leading digital businesses in over 40 countries worldwide.
Image courtesy of Ben Symons and story courtesy of Fremantle Media.