The latest fourth season of Netflix’s drama The Crown has faced some backlash in the U.K. over its depiction of the royal family and other public figures. Earlier this week, Culture secretary Oliver Dowden wrote a letter to the streamer, asking for a disclaimer to be added that makes it clear to Netflix’s 195M subscribers that the royal drama is partly a work of fiction. Netflix has declined the request.
“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,” the streamer said in a statement to Deadline. “As a result we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.”
While Dowden gave an interview prior to contacting Netflix, his letter has not been made public, and I hear Netflix replied, also privately.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday a week ago, Dowden said: “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.”
In the UK, there has been a lot of press about Season 4 of The Crown, which chronicles the romance and stormy marriage between Prince Charles and Diana. It has included accusations of historic fabrications in the award-winning drama, penned by Peter Morgan and produced by Left Bank Pictures. The media discussion has not translated into official complaints — according to sources, there have been 12 to date about the new season in the UK.