Deadline reports that executives at Netflix have decided “it would be foolhardy to stream The Crown in November followed by the Harry and Meghan documentary in December.” The decision seems to be prompted by the growing chorus of outrage and allegations of insensitivity and invention that previews of The Crown are generating.
“They’re rattled at Netflix, and they blinked first and decided to postpone the documentary,” a source is quoted as having told Deadline.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail has reported, quoting a “production source,” that media response to the new series is “spooking” the broadcaster.
The source said: “The show has never been about sensationalism but it has also always been a drama. For the first years it seemed that everyone was happy to tolerate it…(but)… it was easier to write the earlier series because, firstly, there is a wealth of historical documentation, plus a consensus over more of what happened, and you can be more broad brush dramatically and people don’t find it hurtful.”
The source added that screenwriter Peter Morgan was “quite traumatised by the criticism. He has not done anything to be sensational. The show would be a different show if he sought the sensational.”
The slew of reports come after Netflix was forced to issue a rare defense of the show as a “fictional dramatization” after former British Prime Minister Sir John Major said the show’s portrayal of the then-Prince Charles trying to recruit him to a scheme to oust the queen was “malicious” and “a barrel-load of nonsense.”
A spokeswoman for The Crown told the BBC: “The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events. Series five is a fictional dramatization, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family—one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians.”
However Netflix has consistently refused to run a disclaimer in the show’s opening credits making clear that the drama is fictional, and many viewers are thought to have accepted the show’s portrayal of events as largely accurate.
Harry has been accused of hypocrisy for frequently criticizing the media for invading his privacy, but declining to criticize the Netflix over the show, having signed a reputed $100 million production deal with the streamer.
He told James Corden in an interview: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”
He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction—take it how you will—and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”
The Daily Beast recently reported that King Charles, who has yet to decide whether to make Meghan and Archie’s kids prince and princess, is waiting to see whether Harry and Meghan continue their damaging attacks on him and the monarchy before signing off on the children’s new titles.
The streamer has never confirmed it is filming a show starring Harry and Meghan, but Meghan recently told an interviewer for The Cut: “The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story.”