To exclude, to expel:
The Holburne Museum of Art and the Assembly Rooms in Bath, the Badminton House in Gloucestershire and the Petworth House, West Sussex have all been used as locations for the classic Netflix drama Bridgerton
Image: Tim Merry)
Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes is considered a television pioneer in casting Black actors for leading roles.
But many of the lavish stately homes used in the Regent period drama were built with slave money and were associated with the slave trade.
In the first series, Lady Danbury’s residence, played by Adjoa Andoh, was filmed in Bath, using the Holburne Hall of Art and Museum.
Both have a slavery connection, with a portrait of the Byam family involved in the slave trade in the museum.
Sir William Holburne’s inheritance came from plantations in the West Indies, where the slave trade was.
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The architects of the Council Chamber, John Wood the Elder and Younger, referred to the slave trader as the Duke of Chandos as their patron.
The Badminton House in Badminton, Gloucs, is one of three mansions used as the home of the Duke of Hastings, built by Regé-Jean Page.
It is now most famous for its horse trials but the house is associated with the Beaufort family, whose ancestors lived a lavish life with wealth derived from slavery.
Corbis via Getty Images)
The property was given a sum of £20,000 by owner Henry Somerset, who opposed the abolition of the slave trade in 1796, for refurbishment in the late 17th century.
Petworth House, in Petworth, West Sussex, featured in the second series
Its former owners were found to have a stake in a sugar plantation in Barbados.
Dr Richard McCulloch of the University of Huddersfield, a senior lecturer in film and media, said: “Bringing actors of color into a world of white narrative doesn’t make the show progressive.
“They could have made the diversity draw the starting point for commenting on slavery, colonialism, or race, but instead, the series continues as if none of it. ever really existed.”
The performance, which launched after the Black Living Matter movement, in the summer of 2020, triggered ongoing discussions about Britain’s colonial past.
BLM supporters called on Britain to apologize for being involved in the slave trade.
Some alternative stately homes that Netflix could use that aren’t related to slavery include:
- Lancaster House
- Temple Newsam, Leeds
- Claydon House, Bucks
- Grantham House, Lincolnshire
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/netflix-slated-using-sites-links-26564378 Netflix plans to use websites with links to the slave trade to film Bridgerton