In what is surely the final chapter in this saga, Netflix has declared it has “no plans” to add a disclaimer to The Crown. Its decision comes after the British Government had a whinge about fans treating the series as the real thing.
For those playing at home, The Crown season 4 portrays the Royal Family as… pretty shit people. Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) especially copped it, and was depicted as a horrible husband to Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).
So then the British Government stepped in, demanding Netflix add a disclaimer to make it extremely clear that The Crown is just based on historical events. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden even wrote privately to Netflix to push the disclaimer.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, also had his say, telling British TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh that he fears people will forget The Crown is only 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.”
Even Helena Bonham Carter, who starred as Princess Margaret in seasons 3 and 4, said Netflix has a “moral responsibility” to make it very clear to fans that The Crown is a drama.
“It is dramatised,” she told the show’s official podcast, 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.”
Netflix, however, thinks it’s pretty bloody obvious it’s just a TV show.
“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,” Netflix said in a statement to Deadline. “As a result we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.”
Netflix sounds pretty done with this whole thing, hey? And we’ve still got two seasons of The Crown to go.
If some viewers thought the show was the real thing though, hopefully all this brouhaha has brought that to an end.
For what it’s worth, The Crown is literally tagged under ‘Political TV Shows’, ‘British TV Shows’, and ‘TV Dramas’ on Netflix.
You can stream the current seasons on Netflix now.Image: Netflix / The Crown (fiction)