UK wants Netflix to warn viewers Crown is fictitious

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UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden asks Netflix to warn viewers that The crown is fictitious so that young audiences cannot mistake the events depicted in the historical drama about the royal family for fact.

“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so like other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at first, that’s just it,” Dowden told The Mail on Saturday. “Without it, I fear that a generation of viewers who have not experienced these events may take the fiction for fact,” he said.

Dowden said he would write a letter to Netflix asking them to put a “health warning” at the start of each episode to make it clear the show was a work of fiction, the Daily Mail reported.

Dowden’s move comes amid a wave of criticism from UK news media and Royal Family columnists that some of the show’s scenes and main storylines have been fabricated and are inaccurate and damaging for the royal family.

The most controversial of these is The crown the wedding portrayal of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and the suggestion that Charles’ affair with his now wife Camilla Parker Bowles continued throughout his marriage to Diana.

Penny Junor, who has written biographies of Charles and Diana, told the New York Times that the problematic portrayal of Charles on the show would mar his ascension to the throne.

“It’s wonderful television,” said Junor. “She’s played beautifully – the manners are perfect. But it’s fiction, and it’s very destructive. ”

Netflix has declined to comment so far, but The Guardian quoted a source as saying it was widely reported that The crown was a drama based on real life events.

Some, like Chris Ship, editor of ITV News, agreed with the culture secretary’s concerns.

But many others, including historians, were taken aback by the UK government’s focus on a Netflix drama and scoffed at the idea that people needed a warning to understand the show was a fictional account of the royal family.
As one historian noted, “Historical dramas are not meant to be precise descriptions of what happened.”

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