‘Downton Abbey’ May Address Race Issues in Season 4

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Although its historic setting may have protected Downton Abbey from the kind of criticism Girls has faced, it’s difficult to ignore that the family and staff at the 1920s estate are all white. But, according to creator Julian Fellowes, Season 4 might well feature black or Indian characters. If the show returns for a fourth season — which hasn’t yet been confirmed — Fellowes tells The Daily Telegraph that it would be “rather nice to open it up ethnically a bit… You have to work it in in a way that is historically believable, but I am sure we could do that. [The show] certainly ought to have an Indian character from that period.” It’s a response that makes us worry a bit about tokenism, but any attempt to open up Downton to a broader representation of British society — and provides the opportunity to examine the country’s race issues — in the early 20th century sounds promising to us.