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Blake inquiry clears McLachlan

The Doctor Blake Mysteries was cancelled by ABC after season five

An investigation commissioned by the producers of Australian drama The Doctor Blake Mysteries has found no evidence of sexual harassment, misconduct or workplace bullying by star Craig McLachlan.

However, while the review found the Doctor Blake workplace environment was positive, it said it was marked by humour that many on the production described as sexual, lewd, bawdy, ‘Benny Hill-esque’ and crude.

Acknowledging that “some of the behaviour relating to this humour may be offensive to people,” the report recommended improvements in policies and practices in workplace behaviour, which producer December Media said it would implement.

The prodco ordered the investigation by Fiona Bigelli of Pax People Resolutions, who talked to all core cast members and crew of season five, the last before it was cancelled by pubcaster the ABC.

That was prompted by media reports of allegations by un-named crew members about McLachlan’s inappropriate language and behaviour in 2016.

Earlier, several actresses claimed they were abused, indecently assaulted or bullied by the actor during the 2014 stage production of The Rocky Horror Show, in which he played Dr Frank N Furter.

December Media suspended preparation of four Doctor Blake TV movies that had been commissioned by Seven Network, while ABC pulled the series from its catch-up platform iview.

McLachlan vehemently denied the claims, which are being investigated by Victorian police, and stepped down from the production of the stage show in Adelaide.

Neither December Media nor Seven was willing to comment on when or whether the TV movies would proceed.

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