A ‘Black and Very Handsome’ Man for ‘Downton Abbey’?

For a storyline about race relations in the 1920s, casting agents are reportedly looking for someone with a "certain wow factor."

Current Downton Abbey cast members (Getty Images)

According to the British tabloid the Sun, the plot of the award-winning drama Downton Abbey will be enhanced with a little color before long. And not just any black person will do for what’s reportedly going to be a storyline about race relations in the 1920s.

Casting notes sent out to actors agents earlier this month describe “Ross” as “Male, 25-30. A musician (singer) at an exclusive club in the 20s,” adding that the character will be “black and very handsome. A real man (not a boy) with charm and charisma.” He also has to “sing brilliantly” and have a “certain wow factor.”

That’s a lot. We’re sure African American fans of the show (who, by our totally unofficial calculations, are many) will have plenty to say about the actor chosen and, more important, how the writers handle his role and the weighty issues it is being cast to address.

Read more at the Sun.

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