British Culture Secretary Says ‘The Crown’ Should Warn Viewers The Show Is Fictional

The British Culture Secretary said on Sunday that popular Netflix series “The Crown” should include a warning at the start of each episode explaining that it was not a “fact”. The show is based on the life of the British Royal Family, but the final season is set in the 1980s and many of the main characters are still alive.

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

Dowden said he plans to write a letter to Netflix. The final season of “The Crown” showed a warning before certain episodes about its portrayal of eating disorders.

Dowden isn’t the only person asking for a “The Crown” disclaimer. Earl Spencer, brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, told UK broadcaster ITV that the show should warn viewers that it is taking an artistic license with actual events.

“I think it would help ‘The Crown’ tremendously if at the start of each episode he said, ‘It’s not true but it’s based on actual events,'” he said.

Other members of royal circles went further, saying the show did not accurately portray reality and royal sources told Britain’s Daily Telegraph Prince Charles was refusing to watch the final season.

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said she was concerned some viewers would treat the show “like a documentary”.

“The difficulty is knowing which is the truth and which is not – especially for the younger generation who have not gone through this,” she said. “They are going to believe what they see, they are going to see it as a documentary. We have to remember that this is a drama.”

Former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter told the BBC the latest season “stretched the drama license to the limit”.

“It’s ax work on Prince Charles and a bit of ax work on Diana,” Arbiter told the BBC. “You have to ask, is it necessary?”

The fourth season captures not only Charles and Diana’s tumultuous marriage, but Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister as well. Authorized biographer Thatcher Charles Moore told CBS News’s Jeff Glor that the show does not accurately portray Thatcher’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth.

“On a personal level, this is wrong with Mrs Thatcher and the Queen,” Moore said. “Because it shows something that never happened, which is rudeness.”

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