ENTERTAINMENT
07/12/2020 10:50 AM AEDT

Netflix Responds To Calls For Disclaimer To Be Added To The Crown

The regal drama has attracted criticism for its use of creative licence.

Netflix has insisted it will not add a disclaimer to The Crown to explain to viewers it is a work of fiction. 

The regal drama has attracted criticism for its use of creative licence, particularly since the release of series four last month, which covers the early years of the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

Oliver Dowden also raised concerns that some younger viewers may mistake The Crown as a work of fact, while Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, publicly called for a disclaimer to proceed each episode of the drama. 

However, Netflix has remained firm on the matter, and said that its users understand that it is not completely factual. 

Netflix
Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin play Prince Charles and Princess Diana in The Crown

In a statement issued to Deadline, the streaming service 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, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), told the Mail On Sunday last week: “[The Crown] is 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.” 

It is understood the streaming service has received a private letter from Dowden, and has sent a private response.

Earl Spencer also told ITV’s Lorraine: “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’.

“I worry people do think [the show] is gospel, and that’s unfair.”

The Crown creator and writer Peter Morgan had previously appeared on the podcast to defend his right to creative licence. 

Discussing much-criticised scenes in which features the late Lord Mountbatten sending Prince Charles a letter admonishing his pursuit of Camilla Parker Bowles, who at the time was married. 

He said: “In my own head I thought that would have even greater impact on Charles if it were to come post-mortem, as it were. I think everything that’s in that letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe, based on everything I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to, that represents his view.

“We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten’s death, but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it.”

Meanwhile, former royal butler Paul Burrell said the new season is a “fair and accurate dramatisation” of the royal family’s treatment of Diana.

The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.