Helena Bonham Carter has thrown her (faux) crown into the ring, joining the growing debate that Netflix should make it very clear that The Crown is, well, fiction.
Bonham Carter, who starred as Princess Margaret in seasons 3 and 4, told the show’s official podcast that The Crown has a “moral responsibility” to tell viewers it is fiction.
“It is dramatised,” she said, per Deadline. “I do feel very strongly, because I think we have a moral responsibility to say, ‘Hang on guys, this is not … it’s not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.’ So they are two different entities.”
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown.
Ever since season 4 exploded onto screens last month, a number of prominent figures from royal circles have spoken out against the series. And look, it’s not hard to see why.
Much of season 4 centres on the relationship between Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).
Prince Charles was portrayed as a totally cold and cruel husband to Diana, who made little effort to help her adapt to her new life. The entire Royal Family were depicted as extremely distant, to be honest. It wasn’t fun viewing.
Sources, grain of salt, close to Prince Charles said the season “hijacked and exploited” the lives of the Royal Family.
“It’s dragging up things that happened during very difficult times 25 or 30 years ago without a thought for anyone’s feelings,” they told Daily Mail. “That isn’t right or fair, particularly when so many of the things being depicted don’t represent the truth.”
Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, told British TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh that he fears people will forget that The Crown is fiction.
“You can hang it on fact, but the bits in between are not fact,” he said.
“[Viewers] assume, especially foreigners, I find Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven’t.”
Earlier this week, the British Government even got involved.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mail on Sunday that while The Crown is a “beautifully produced work of fiction”, Netflix needs to make that clear.
Dowden basically wants Netflix to put a disclaimer before episodes, informing viewers that while The Crown is based on true stories, it is ultimately a work of fiction.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” Dowden said.
At the time, Dowden said he would be writing to Netflix to raise his concerns.
The Crown season 4 is streaming now on Netflix.