In news I did not see coming, the ABC has fact-checked The Crown over an interview with our then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke, which featured in the show’s fourth season.
The interview in question is from season 4’s sixth episode, Terra Nullius, in which Australia readies itself for Prince Charles and Princess Diana‘s big Australian tour. Hawke (Richard Roxburgh), meanwhile, is portrayed as a staunch supporter of the Australian republic movement.
At the beginning of the episode, Hawke walks into the Four Corners studio in Canberra (apparently) for an interview about the upcoming royal tour. And look, he says some rather unsavoury things about Queen Liz and the royals.
‘Hawke’ describes Queen Liz as an “unelected non-Australian, who lives on the other side of the world, and for all good intentions, is a different breed.”
“You wouldn’t put a pig in charge of a herd of prime beef cut even it did look good in a twin set and pearls.”
Netflix / The Crown season 4.
While The Crown is based on very real stories, Netflix has fictionalised a lot. And the ABC has pointed that right out.
In a post shared to its Facebook page on Wednesday, the Four Corners team said they’re huge fans of the show… but, they wanted to clear up a few things.
“Firstly, the 1983 Bob Hawke interview you recreated in season 4 was in fact from February 12, not February 26,” they said.
The team went back through the archives and found an actual TV guide from the time.
“We went back and found a TV guide just to check our archivists are as sharp as we thought, and they’re spot on,” they said.
The ABC don’t fuck around, hey?
“Secondly, the Hawke interview was in Melbourne, not in our Canberra studios as you say in the show (although we’re impressed with your knowledge of our nation’s capital).
“And while we’ve enjoyed your creative license, Hawke did not call the Queen a pig on our show and say, ‘You wouldn’t put a pig in charge of a herd of prime beef cattle, even it it does look good in a twin set and pearls.’”
Four Corners attached the real interview to the post, finishing it off with a simple “thnx”.
And it’s the sassy “thnx” that does it for me.
You can read the ABC’s full post below.
As an aside, let us never forget that The Crown filmed the Australian episode in Spain, and thought this looked like Brisbane.
The Crown is streaming now on Netflix.