Though the UK government last week called upon Netflix to add a disclaimer to “The Crown” assuring viewers that it’s in fact a work of fiction, the streamer has said it has no plans to do so. As revealed to Deadline in response to comments from UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden asking the streamer to address historical creative stretches in the series, Netflix said, “We have always presented ‘The Crown’ as a drama — and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events. As a result we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer.”
Dowden reportedly sent a letter to Netflix that the streamer addressed privately, but in an earlier interview with The Daily Mail Dowden said, “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.”
He added that “without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.” Dowden proposed a “health warning” to accompany the popular royals series, which he accuses of doing lasting damage to the monarchy, including Prince Charles.
Writer Peter Morgan’s Emmy-winning drama has stirred controversy since Season 4 debuted on November 15. Aspects being questioned by the UK include the timeline of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ affair during his marriage to Diana, as well as verbal abuse toward Diana, which prompted even Earl Spencer to weigh in.
Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, earlier warned Netflix viewers to take the new season of “The Crown” with a grain of salt. During an interview on “Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh” (via Today), Spencer said Americans tend to accept “The Crown” as fact, which he can’t support now that Diana is a main character. Spencer also said he rejected a request from “The Crown” team to film at the Spencer family’s ancestral home in Northamptonshire, England.
Spencer similarly called upon Netflix to slap an advisory on the series to dissuade people from taking it at face value. “It would help ‘The Crown’ an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that, ‘This isn’t true but is based around some real events’. Because then everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake,” Spencer said.