Netflix Is Making A Controversial Change To Its Best Show

Netflix is adding a disclaimed to The Crown that the show is actually fictionalized and not a real portrayal of events.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Netflix has quietly added a disclaimer to its marketing for The Crown. The decision comes after the show received severe backlash over its blurring of fact and fiction. The trailer for the upcoming installment of the hit drama is now accompanied by a description that says, “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”

Trailers for previous seasons of The Crown channel have never carried such a disclaimer. Speaking to Deadline, a Netflix spokesperson addressed the change, saying the series 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 scrutinized and well documented by journalists, biographers, and historians,” the statement added.

The Crown’s fifth outing is poised to be one of the most-watched shows of the year. But since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, the series has faced more criticism than usual. Earlier this week, Dame Judi Dench publicly maligned the show for its crude sensationalism in a letter to The Times, saying, “The time has come for Netflix to reconsider – for the sake of a family so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people for 70 years, and to preserve its reputation.”

The streamer is also postponing its Prince Harry and Meghan Markle documentary series which was set to launch on November 9th. Although Netflix is eager for the title to be released in December on the back of The Crown, the Duke and Duchess are reportedly requesting changes and late edits. Additionally, the filmmakers have been confused by on-camera remarks made by Harry being inconsistent with what he has written in his soon-to-be-published memoir, Deadline reports.

Created for Netflix by Peter Morgan, The Crown was developed from his 2006 film The Queen and his 2013 stage play The Audience. The first season premiered in 2016 and has been filled with historical inaccuracies. The Guardian described the drama as fake history and a cowardly abuse of artistic license which fabricated history to suit its preconceived narrative.

Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith also criticized The Crown for falsifying real events. She said that due to its expensive production, clever writing, and beautiful acting, viewers are tricked into believing that what they are watching happened. She added that while the earlier seasons were period pieces, the recent “history” in seasons three and four are ever crueler in its false depictions which hide behind fancy visual details.

Season five of The Crown begins in the early 1990s, following the departure of Margaret Thatcher and the relationship between Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles at breaking point. The series also brings in a new set of actors, as Imelda Staunton, Elizabeth Debicki, and Dominic West replace Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, and Josh O’Connor in major roles. Jonny Lee Miller portrays British Prime Minister John Major. The upcoming season will be released on November 9th.