The Crown is currently a fictional dramatisation based on true events: Adding a disclaimer, Netflix responds to criticism
Streaming giant Netflix has now added a disclaimer, a day after veteran actor Judi Dench criticised smash series The Crown for being “cruelly unjust” to the British royal family. This fictional dramatisation chronicles the tale of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and emotional events that defined her reign, and it is now available on Netflix in its four currently available seasons.
The decision was made in response to a recent episode in which the then-Prince Charles was seen attempting to depose his mother as king. Demands for Netflix to include a disclaimer had been met with constant resistance. On November 9, the fifth season, which focuses on the 1990s, is scheduled for release. In one episode, the heir to the throne Charles attempts to enlist John Major, who was the prime minister at the time, in a plot against his mother.
John has now blasted it as “destructive and vicious” fiction, according to the news agency AFP. In a statement released by his office, it was stated that “Sir John and the then Prince of Wales never discussed any potential abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II — nor was such an implausible and unsuitable subject ever mentioned by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John).”
Judi, who played historical monarchs Elizabeth I and Victoria, demanded the inclusion of a disclaimer in a letter to The Times newspaper. “While many will recognise The Crown for the wonderful but fictionalised portrayal of events that it is, I fear that a considerable proportion of viewers, particularly overseas, may take its interpretation of history as being fully factual,” said one section of the letter.
No one believes in artistic freedom more than I do, but this must be contested. The programmers have rejected all requests for them to carry a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode. It is now necessary for Netflix to change its mind for the sake of a family and a country who have just experienced a tragic loss, as a sign of respect for a monarch who has faithfully served her people for 70 years, and to protect its reputation among British subscribers.
Previous plots have drawn criticism, such as the one where the late Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, is held responsible by his father for his sister’s passing. The performance is described as a “fictional dramatisation, picturing what could have transpired behind closed doors,” according to a spokeswoman’s defence last week.
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