Netflix Defends ‘The Crown’ Against Former British PM’s ‘Barrel Load of Nonsense’ Barb

The streamer said the hit show was a “fictional dramatization” in response to John Major’s criticism

Sir John Major
Getty Images

Netflix has defended “The Crown” as a “fictional dramatization,” after former UK prime minister John Major called the show a “barrel load of nonsense” and railed that its depictions of his time in office were “damaging and malicious fiction.”

The former prime minister’s comments came after the show was accused of fabricating a smear against King Charles, showing him lobbying Major for a secret plot to oust the Queen.

Major’s office told The Mail on Sunday that the meeting never took place.

“Sir John has not co-operated in any way with The Crown. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact-check any script material in this or any other series,” read a statement from his office.

“As you will know, discussions between the monarch and prime minister are entirely private and – for Sir John – will always remain so. But not one of the scenes you depict are accurate in any way whatsoever. They are fiction, pure and simple.”

Malcom Rifkind, who was foreign secretary under Major, also had problems with the hit show, calling the scene with Major and Prince Charles “pathetic and absurd.” Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, a friend of the King, said that the show is “full of nonsense, but [the scene was] nonsense on stilts.”

A spokesperson from “The Crown” defended the hit show Monday.

“Series 5 is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians,” a statement said.

Netflix has also previously stated that they don’t feel a need to inform viewers of the show’s fictional nature, though its tagline reads “Based on historical events, this series dramatises the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that have shaped her reign.”

The new season of “The Crown” will release on Netflix Nov. 9, and is expected to show Prince Charles (played by Dominic West) cutting a holiday with Diana, Princess of Wales (played by Elizabeth Debicki), short to host a secret meeting with Sir John (played by Johnny Lee Miller) at his home, in 1991. It is also supposed to center the Queen (played by Imelda Staunton), as she approaches the 40th anniversary since taking the throne.

Filming on the sixth season of “The Crown” was briefly suspended out of respect for the Queen, after her death. It was also paused on the day of her funeral.