The Culture Secretary Has Told Netflix To Put A Warning Into "The Crown" Telling Viewers The Drama Is Fictionalised
Oliver Dowden is expected to write to Netflix calling for a warning message to be placed on episodes of The Crown (PA)
The culture secretary Oliver Dowden wants Netflix to place a warning at the start of episodes of "The Crown" telling viewers the drama is fictionalised.
He said people could be in danger of thinking the events depicted in it are a wholly accurate version of what happened after a number of complaints about the new series of the hit show.
The minister is expected to write to the streaming service requesting a message is placed on screen, echoing a similar suggestion from Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday Mr Dowden said the series, which stars Olivia Colman as the Queen, was a "beautifully produced work of fiction".
But he raised concerns younger viewers who do not have prior knowledge of some aspects might mistake the fictional representations for an accurate version of what happened.
There has been criticism of how various members of the Royal Family have been depicted, including Prince Charles after the latest episodes show the tensions in his marriage to Princess Diana.
And the widow of an army officer killed in an avalanche at a Swiss ski resort said she was "very upset" to learn the disaster features in the new series.
Sarah Horsley, whose husband Major Hugh Lindsay, a friend of the Prince of Wales and a former Queen's equerry who died in 1988, asked The Crown’s producers not to include it, and was "horrified" when she was told the episode was going ahead.
Mr Dowden told the Mail on Sunday: "It's a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.
"Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact."
Last week Earl Spencer told ITV's Lorraine: "I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if, at the beginning of each episode, it stated that: 'This isn't true but it is based around some real events'."
He added: "I worry people do think that this is gospel and that's unfair.”
But actress Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana, has defended the show, saying: “I think for everyone in the The Crown, we always try and remind everyone that the series we are in is fictionalised, to a great extent.
“Obviously it has its roots in reality and in some fact, but Peter Morgan’s scripts are works of fiction.”
She added: “At the same time, I understand why people would be upset, because this is history… and even with Diana, you know, it’s still very much fresh, I suppose, everything that happened. So I do really understand if people would be upset.
“But obviously, for all of the cast, we just want to constantly remind people that we approach these people that we play as characters, which is why it’s such a joyous job, because Peter [Morgan, the show’s creator] writes such rich and complex characters, and as an actor it’s such a joy to be able to really bring a lot to them.”