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Inside Quotes: 'Downton Abbey' Creator On Wanting To Intro A Black Character Who Isn't A Victim

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 6, 2013 at 7:31PM

“I was very keen he should be a positive character. I feel this quite strongly... So many black characters in TV drama are victims and things are not going well for them... Even when they’re positive, even when they’re sympathetic, everything’s terrible. I feel for black young men and women. It’s very important that you see people on the screen who are not victims. This guy is not a victim. He is a very successful entertainer, a very positive guy, very attractive, and there’s no negative side, and that was important to me."
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Downton's jazz man Gary Carr
Downton's jazz man Gary Carr

“I was very keen he should be a positive character. I feel this quite strongly... So many black characters in TV drama are victims and things are not going well for them... Even when they’re positive, even when they’re sympathetic, everything’s terrible. I feel for black young men and women. It’s very important that you see people on the screen who are not victims. This guy is not a victim. He is a very successful entertainer, a very positive guy, very attractive, and there’s no negative side, and that was important to me."

Some worth-sharing comments made by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, to the UK's Daily Mirror, regarding his decision to introduce a black character to the show's cast for its upcoming fourth season, as well as the decisive choices he made for the character - a character who will be played by Gary Carr, likely best known as the young ambitious cop Fidel Best on the BBC series Death in Paradise.

Reactions?

The series premieres in the UK next month, although it won't debut on USA screens until January 2014 - an eternity to fans most likely, meaning, PBS should expect and be ready for the likelihood that there'll be some Stateside online piracy between October and January. See my most recent Luther inquiry for more on that.

In the upcoming fourth season, Carr will play a singer at an exclusive night club, described as charming and charismatic, who will stir things up a bit at Downton. 

Needless to say, I'm sure the character will be under intense scrutiny by black audiences when the season premieres, and he makes his debut, and Gary Carr's life is likely about to change a bit, as more of the world becomes familiar with him.

Thanks Angie for the heads-up on the above quote.

This article is related to: Gary Carr, TV News


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