Brits to ask Netflix to stipulate The Crown is fiction

Britain's culture secretary will officially ask Netflix to add a disclaimer to The Crown.

Britain’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden will officially ask Netflix to add a disclaimer to The Crown making clear it is partly a work of fiction.

“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” he said.

“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

The move follows ongoing criticisms of Peter Morgan’s script around dramatised events.

Last week ABC noted on social media that dialogue attribute to Bob Hawke on a Four Corners episode never took place.

Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has also said, “Americans tell me they have watched The Crown as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven’t.

“It is very hard, there is a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention, isn’t there? You can hang it on fact but the bits in between are not fact.”

There is also doubt over a scene in which Lord Mountbatten writes a letter to a young Prince Charles.

“I made up in my head — whether it’s right or wrong — what we know is that Mountbatten was really responsible for taking Charles to one side at precisely this point and saying, ‘Look, you know, enough already with playing the field. It’s time you got married and it’s time you provided an heir,'” Morgan said.

“I think everything that’s in the letter that Mountbatten writes to Charles is what I really believe — you know, based on everything I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to, that that represents his view.

“We will never know if it was put into a letter, and we will never know if Charles got that letter before or after Mountbatten’s death but in this particular drama, this is how I decided to deal with it,” he added.

Morgan has also claimed to meet regularly with people who are very high-ranking and very active within the royal household, but Donal McCabe, the Queen’s communications secretary, said in a letter, “The Royal Household has never agreed to vet or approve content, has not asked to know what topics will be included, and would never express a view as to the programme’s accuracy.”

Source: Deadline 9Now

6 Responses

  1. I’ve been listening to the official Netflix podcast on the Crown and they have a team of researchers who state they make it as real as possible, including tiny details many wouldn’t even notice, in order to gain credibility, using as many sources as possible. Obviously the conversations behind the scenes are dramatised but designed to reflect all known details. If nothing else, it encourages people to do their own research to find out the ‘truth’ – I know I’ve done lots of Googling after each episode!

  2. I must confess I have never bothered reading disclaimers, it’s logical that for shows made in politically corrupt regions of the world it probably would be wise to use prominent disclaimers right at the beginning to reduce persecution from the authorities, but the Windsors are well known celebrities courtesy of the British tabloids and magazines.
    Having said that the last scene of the final episode with Philip and Diana possibly could be considered by the language used and its emotional intensity as trying to hype historical reality a bit too much, but as always any judgement should be left to the viewer.

  3. Everybody else would have just put a disclaimer on it stating that it was based on real events but that things had been changed and dialogue made as it’s a dramatisation. Morgan has gotten away with this because the Royals have a policy of neither confirming or denying gossip and don’t sue as it just makes things worse for them. Morgan has also used the fake tabloid account of Fagan’s break-in, and put his own speak in Fagan’s mouth, even though Fagan is on record saying it’s not correct. Royal correspondence is logged and archived, so it does matter that Mountbatten’s letter in the grown didn’t exist. What’s it’s based on is a letter Moutbatten wrote to Charles 5 years earlier, the sow your wild oats and then marry a nice young virgin letter, which has been made public.

  4. I don’t know what it is about The Crown S4, but it does feel a little different. Maybe it’s because it’s now based on a time period more people vaguely remember. But when there are reports that the Duchess of Cornwall is being trolled online as a direct consequence of S4 airing, I think there definitely needs to be a disclaimer reminding viewers that this is just a story and not actual reality.

  5. Virtually all “based on a true story” productions are embellishments and dramatisations that only vaguely resemble some actual historical events/figures. If there is to be a disclaimer for this (if people are so stupid as to mistake fact with fiction), then the same ought to be extended to *any* production that claims to be “based on actual events”.

    Such productions are often attributed with a false sense of prestige (as there are many snobs out there who would refuse to watch something that is entirely fabricated, but jump at perversions of reality such as these). It also makes certain dramatic contrivances seem more plausible, because apparently, “that’s what really happened”.

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