The Crown will not feature a disclaimer, emphasizing that Netflix’s glossy royal soap opera is a work of fiction.
“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,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “As a result we have no plans—and see no need—to add a disclaimer.”
The statement comes after controversy over storylines and invented scenes in season four of the hit show, particularly around the difficulties in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage.
Last week, U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mail on Sunday: “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. Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
Dowden and Netflix exchanged private correspondence on the matter, Variety reported.
A friend of Prince Charles told the Mail on Sunday: “It is quite sinister the way that (series creator, Peter) Morgan is clearly using light entertainment to drive a very overt republican agenda and people just don’t see it. They have been lured in over the first few series until they can’t see how they are being manipulated.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, told ITV he wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of every episode: “It would help The Crown an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that, ‘This isn’t true but is based around some real events.’ Because then everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake.”