Netflix's Answer: It's Clear The Crown Is Drama

Streaming service faces calls to alert viewers that it's not a documentary
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2020 11:05 AM CST
Netflix's Answer: It's Clear The Crown Is Drama
This image released by Netflix shows Olivia Colman, from left, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin in a scene from "The Crown." Season four premieres on Sunday, Nov. 15.   (Des Willie/Netflix via AP)

Sounding a bit like a monarch speaking in the royal "we," Netflix has responded to calls for a disclaimer on the screen advising viewers that a hit series is fiction. "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 streaming service said Saturday. "As a result we have no plans—and see no need—to add a disclaimer." The British government's culture minister and Princess Diana's brother are among those who want a label on the screen at the opening of episodes in the series about Britain's royal family, ABC reports.

There was less debate about historical veracity early in the series, but this season has reached the era of Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana. Some British conservatives say The Crown exaggerates conflicts between Thatcher, who was prime minister for 11 years, and Queen Elizabeth II. The series creator says the drama is based on research, but there's concern that viewers are absorbing the show as a documentary. "I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact," said Oliver Dowden, the culture minister, per the BBC, calling The Crown a "beautifully produced work of fiction." (More Netflix stories.)

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