The Crown should include a disclaimer stating that it is not necessarily accurate, according to Dame Judi Dench, the most recent prominent person to make this request.
Netflix “seems prepared to fudge the borders between historical accuracy and vulgar sensationalism,” the actress claimed.
There is a chance that “a considerable number of viewers,” according to Dame Judi, may interpret the events as historical fact.
According to Netflix, the royal series “has always been presented as a drama based on historical events,” which has helped to defend it.
The former prime minister Sir John Major had expressed his reservations over the fifth season of The Crown, which would represent the Royal Family in the 1990s, and the Oscar-winning actor responded in a letter to The Times.
Sir John called a scene in which he and Prince Charles, as he was at the time, are claimed to have discussed the Queen stepping down “a barrel-load of spiteful nonsense.”
On Thursday, the trailer for the upcoming season of The Crown was made public. It implies that Diana, Princess of Wales, and the aftermath of her and Prince Charles, as he was then, preparing for divorce, will receive a lot of attention in the series.
It also recreates the conversation Princess Diana had with Martin Bashir in 1995. After an investigation determined “deceptive” techniques were used to obtain it, the real footage won’t be displayed on the BBC again.
In the teaser, Elizabeth Debicki’s Diana is heard saying to Prasanna Puwanarajah’s Bashir, “I won’t go lightly, I’ll fight till the end.” Princess Diana did not say that in the interview.
Sir John Major is not alone in his worries that the most recent season of The Crown will give an erroneous and damaging view of history, according to Dame Judi in her letter.
The drama seems more willing to shamelessly straddle the line between historical authenticity and cheap sensationalism the closer it gets to our current times.
“While many will recognize The Crown for the wonderful but fictionalized depiction of events that it is, I fear that a sizable percentage of viewers, especially those from abroad, may consider its interpretation of history as being entirely accurate.”
Dame Judi argued that especially so soon after the death of the Queen, the comments that are anticipated to be made in the new series are “cruelly unjust to the individuals and destructive to the institution they represent.”
No one believes in artistic freedom more than I do, but this cannot go unopposed, she continued.
“Despite officially saying this week that The Crown has always been a “fictionalized drama,” the show’s creators have defied requests to include a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode.
“The moment has come for Netflix to reconsider – for the benefit of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a token of respect to a sovereign who served her people so obediently for 70 years, and to safeguard its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers,” said the statement.
In the 1997 film Mrs. Brown and the 2017 historical drama Victoria & Abdul, Dame Judi previously portrayed Queen Victoria.
The actress is friendly with both Queen Consort and King Charles. Camilla guest edited Dame Judi’s appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live in 2020; the two had previously been seen together at the Isle of Wight.
Dominic West will play Charles in the opulent regal drama’s upcoming series, while Elizabeth Debicki will play Diana and Imelda Staunton the Queen.
“The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events,” a Netflix spokesman stated.
“Series five is a fictitious dramatization that speculates about what may have transpired behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family — one that has already been closely examined and well-documented by journalists, biographers, and historians.”
In an interview with the US journal Entertainment Weekly that was published this week, the show’s creator, Peter Morgan, also defended the next season.
King Charles will almost definitely have some bitter recollections of that time, he said, adding that “I think we must all agree that the 1990s were a tough time for the royal family.”
“However, that does not imply that history will be harsh to him or the monarchy when looking back with the advantage of hindsight. The show most definitely isn’t.
The topic of a potential disclaimer is widely discussed. Oliver Dowden, the former culture secretary, said younger viewers “may confuse fiction for a fact” when the last season of the show was published in 2020.
The Crown’s fifth season will premiere on November 9.