“The Crown” is fiction and Netflix trusts that its subscribers realise that before hitting “play.”
Last week, United Kingdom Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden spoke with the press asking Netflix to add a disclaimer, to make it clear that while real people are being portrayed, it is a drama.
Telling “The Mail on Sunday,” 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. Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
The show’s fourth season, released on Netflix on November 15, has caused controversy. From the storyline about Queen Elizabeth’s relations living in a mental hospital to the show’s portrayal of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales’s relationship.
During an official show podcast, Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret, came out in support of the warning: “I do feel very strongly, because I think we have a moral responsibility to say, ‘Hang on guys, this is not… it’s not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.’ So they are two different entities.”
Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer and Diana, Princess of Wales’s brother, also joined in on the outcry, saying: “I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if – at the beginning of each episode – it stated that: ‘This isn’t true, but it is based around some real events’. Then, everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake.”
Netflix, however, has no plans on including a disclaimer. Issuing a statement, they 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.”
Netflix does have a warning and tells people how to get help before episodes where Diana, the Princess of Wales, portrayed by Emma Corrin, struggles with bulimia.