Downton Abbey? More like Show About a Black Person Abbey. Looks like everyone's favorite program about dramatic white people (of the non-Real Housewives variety) is set to introduce its first black character in the upcoming fourth season.
According to The Sun, casting notices were sent out earlier this month in search of an actor — a blacktor — to portray the character of Jack Ross, a jazz musician whose talent for music is only equaled by his talent for being black.
According to the notice, Ross will be a singer at "an exclusive club in the 20s." He will be between the ages of 25 and 30, as so many were back then, and also "black and very handsome." He will be "a real man (not a boy) with charm and charisma," "able to sing brilliantly," and "have a certain wow factor."
But what will be Usher's role at Downton itself? Will he be a love interest for cousin Rose, whose curly hair denotes that she is a wild flapper? Will he replace Mrs. Patmore as Downton's cook? Just how far will Daisy's eyes bug out of her head when she sees a black person for the first time? Will he marry Lord Grantham?
Jack Ross (Blackjack Ross?) isn't the only character joining the cast next season. The show is also adding a Very Boring Person: 35 to 45 years old; "good looking"; "warm and charming but also a strong man with morals" and a drunk ("must be able to act drunk").
Last November, creator Julian Fellowes said he hoped to introduce black or Indian roles into Downton Abbey "to open it up ethnically a bit," because Lena Dunham hadn't written enough black characters.
[The Sun // Image via PBS]