‘The Crown’: Netflix Rejects U.K. Culture Secretary’s Request for Fiction Disclaimer

“We have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction,” Netflix says of the hit British royalty series

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“The Crown” may be stirring up some grumbles in Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street, but Netflix says it won’t grant requests to include a disclaimer that the British biopic series is a work of fiction.

The request came from U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who said in an interview with the Daily Mail that “a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.” The latest season of “The Crown” is set in the ’80s and ’90s and follows the doomed marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Charles, played by Josh O’Connor, in particular, gets a very unsavory portrayal, shown as a brooding and bullying husband who rages against the marriage as he longs for the companionship of Camilla Parker Bowles, played by Emerald Fennell.

While Netflix has had private talks with Dowden, it said in a public statement Saturday that the disclaimer request would not be granted. “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,” the statement read. “As a result we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer.”

In the meantime, “The Crown” has put Charles and Camilla under renewed scrutiny, with the couple’s Clarence House Twitter page restricting comments to only those the page follows after it was hit with days of scathing comments from viewers of the series and admirers of the late Princess of Wales. Some Tories have spoken out against “The Crown,” including House of Lords member Michael Forsyth, who accused Netflix in a Daily Mail interview of “using a program which is sensationalist and mendacious to promote their commercial interests.”

Netflix’s refusal was first reported by Variety.


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