The Culture Secretary is considering writing to Netflix and requesting that a “health warning” be released before The Crown so viewers know the historical drama is a work of fiction, he said in a commentary. intervention which drew criticism.
Oliver Dowden said that without the warning, young viewers who did not experience the events could “take the fiction for fact” following complaints that the drama’s fourth series abused its artistic license and fabricated events.
He told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so like other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at first, it’s just that … Without that I’m afraid a generation of viewers who did not live. these events can take fiction for fact.
Right now, viewers are cautioned that the show contains nudity, sex, violence, references to suicide, and is suitable for viewers 15 and over.
The move has been ridiculed by historians, including Professor Kate Williams, who said it looked like a “distraction.” Alex von Tunzelmann, a historian who wrote the Reel History column for the Guardian, wrote: “Netflix already tells people that The Crown is fiction. It is presented as a drama. These people are actors. I know! It amazes you. “
The fourth season of the historical drama, which focuses on the late 1970s and 80s with the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands conflict and Lady Diana Spencer’s marriage to Prince Charles, has drawn widespread criticism.
Accusations of inaccuracies in the production of Peter Morgan range from repeatedly showing the queen ‘badly dressed for parading the color’ to arguments over Charles’ fishing technique.
But the biggest points of contention have been around the portrayal of Charles’ marriage to Diana. He is pictured phoning Camilla Parker Bowles every day in the early years of the marriage, and Diana is described as forcing the couple’s travel plans to Australia to change after a tantrum.
Morgan has previously opened up about meeting Prince Charles and told him screenwriting is hard work and ‘it’s not what you leave but what you leave out that is most important’ .
“He’s one of those characters for whom you have sympathy and criticism in equal measure, an attitude perhaps not uncommon towards the monarchy in general,” Morgan told The New York Times. .
Sarah Horsley, whose husband Major Hugh Lindsay died in an avalanche while skiing with the Prince, said she wrote to Morgan asking that her husband’s death not be dramatized. She said that “the royal family must smile and endure” the portrayal of them in the avalanche episode, but for her it was “a very private tragedy”.
Sunday’s intervention is the latest from Dowden, who contacted the BBC for express concerns that rule, Britannia! might not be played at this year’s event.
In September, he wrote to national museum directors saying that “the government does not support the removal of statues or other similar objects” after a debate began on how to treat objects from the time. colonial and those related to slavery.
The Crown has also been praised for portraying the royal family as “real people”. Others have pointed out that Charles and Diana’s infidelity and marital issues are well recorded – including in the interviews they both gave.
Netflix declined to comment, but a source said that The Crown has been widely reported to be a drama based on real-life events.