Islamic fundamentalism has not, so far, been an issue for the producers of Downton Abbey, and, according to Hugh Bonneville (aka Lord Robert Grantham in the hit costume drama) the rise of a certain militant group in Iraq and Syria is not behind the (potential) killing off the Downton Labrador - who just so happens to be called Isis.
Suspicions that a convenient exit for the hound was being arranged spiked after this week's episode in the UK - does this need a spoiler alert? - introduced a canine cancer storyline.
But Mr Bonneville wrote on his personal website today that anyone who thought show runner Julian Fellowes was planning to kill off the faithful gundog due to the unfortunate connotations of its name was a ‘complete berk’.The yellow Labrador, named after the Egyptian goddess Isis was diagnosed with cancer in the latest episode of the fifth series to be screened in the UK.
On his website, Bonneville wrote:"‘To clarify recent speculation, the Labrador that appeared in Series One (1912-14) was a dog called Pharaoh. From Series Two (1916-1920) onwards, the Labrador has been a bitch named – in keeping with the Egyptian theme – Isis. Anyone who genuinely believes the Series 5 storyline (1924) involving the animal was a reaction to recent world news is a complete berk."
While Downton may be prepared to soldier on with an Isis in the family, other organisations have been more cautious.
FX dumped ‘ISIS’ as the name of a fictional spy organisation from one of their shows, Archer, whose sixth season returns in January.
The Institute for Science and International Security is a non-profit group that works on nuclear nonproliferation issues, told the Daily Beast that the Islamic State could ruin their lives’ work. For example, their Twitter is now continuously receiving messages meant for the terrorist group.
“We’re a non-profit, we’re an NGO. We live off of our visibility, and this really compromises our reputation—not to mention that we work in the national security arena,” said spokeswoman Serena Vergantini. “We’ve never laughed about it.”
In the U.K., the lingerie retailer Ann Summers chose the absolute worst time to launch its new line, which is named after the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis. One employee from the company told The Independent that they had just gotten rotten luck, and that the name was finalized months ago. By the time the Islamic ISIS emerged in the news, it was too late to change the name.