Julian Fellowes Explains Why “Downton Abbey’s” Gay Butler Is Such A C*nt


I don’t know about in America, but here, there are so many people under 40 who were hardly aware of the fact that it was actually illegal until the 1960s. Perfectly normal men and women were risking prison by making a pass at someone. Their whole life was lived in fear, and ruin and humiliation and career after career would be smacked down. I think it’s useful to remind people that many things that they take for granted, are, in terms of our history, comparatively new. But I also felt it was believable that someone living under that pressure would be quite snippy and ungenerous and untrusting. But once you understood what he was up against, you’d forgive quite a lot of that. I like to write characters where you change your mind, without them becoming different people.”

Series creator Julian Fellowes discusses the controversial season finale of Downton Abbey and its “snippy” under butler Thomas — that’s Mr. Barrow to you — with The New York Times.

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  • Caleb in SC

    Wow, no different here in the US. Do people really forget our history? We were far behind, but we are moving to the forefront. Goddess bless us!!!

  • prizepatrol

    You’re using a sexist and misogynist term in the title. Why? Didn’t see it in the interview.

  • damon459

    @prizepatrol: It’s Queerty they love that kind of garbage. Haven’t you notice many of the contributors are one step above the national enquirer.

  • bmwblonde

    Actually what I find annoying about the character Thomas is that he – the only queer character in this dopey soap opera – has to be the most despicable and pathetic major character (apart from O’Brian — a true sociopathic witch). Julian Fellows pretending to be “sympathetic” to Poofs Of Yesteryear because “even making a pass was dangerous” – comes across as pretty thin gruel. How about a necessarily wary and frustrated gay character who is also long-suffering and noble?

    THAT would NEVER occur to any garden-variety “Liberal” homophobe, and ESPECIALLY not to one who’s also a BRIT. UGH. As the mesmerist (hyno-therapist) doctor in the truly good movie, “Maurice” so kindly advised his utterly unhappy (but three-dimensional & decent) gay patient: “I suggest that you move somewhere like France or Italy, where they accept human nature.”

    Of course Julian Fellows is NO E.M. Forrester. And as a result – all artistry but minus the art, Downtown Abbey is opportunistic schlock with a British accent ~ and as such, cynically reinforces one cliché after another to keep the rube-viewers comfy. Ugh.

    And by the way, the text-entry script in QUEERTY has been broken forever. The text goes off screen on the right margin so that one can’t read what one is typing. REALLY dumb, kiddies.

  • niles

    Thank god that Thomas is not a goody-two-shoes and totally boring character. This is
    so important. He is a mix of good and bad, evil and noble, and he may just redeem
    himself in the future. Who knows?

  • 1EqualityUSA

    bmwblonde, You are consistently unpleasant and manage to insult everyone, including ” comfy rube-viewers,” yet, you are able to espouse upon Downton Abbey as though every episode was watched with exceeding interest. A rube would name themselves after a british motor car, brag about their educational achievements, and take pride in superficial traits, such as the color of one’s hair. If you abhor this, “opportunistic schlock” so much, then don’t watch this, “dopey soap opera.” Buzz kill blonde should be your sign on name. Unhappy buzz kill. Your education has not managed to bring you joy, making you as miserable as O’Brian. Drive away from zero to 60 miles per hour and read E.M. Forrester if you don’t like Queerty.

  • LadyL

    @1EqualityUSA: My sentiments exactly. Thanks.

  • Daggerman

    ….this must be said but I’m sick and tired of people (whether teenagers and older etc, who no nothing, anything about the past! Do get a life and start learning, it really isn’t that difficult, but I sure get angry when someone doesn’t know their, say Tudors from Windsors!

  • 1EqualityUSA

    no nothing?

  • Ogre Magi

    @prizepatrol: don’t be such a c-nt

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