Britain’s government plans to ask Netflix to give warnings before episodes of “The Crown” to make it clear the show is fiction rather than a textbook re-creation of royal history, a senior minister said.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mail on Sunday that he will write to the streaming giant amid mounting concerns that the royal family’s reputation is being soiled by fictionalized scenes on the show.
“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,” the minister told the UK paper.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” he cautioned.
Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has also pushed for the warnings.
“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 told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.
“Because then everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake,” the 56-year-old earl stressed, admitting he had only watched a few episodes. “I worry that people do think this is gospel, and that’s unfair. You have to be honest to the consumer.”
The show’s creator, Peter Morgan, has called “The Crown” an “act of creative imagination.”
Some royal watchers fear it could have lasting damage among the tens of millions who have watched it, more than those who tuned in for Prince Charles’ real-life wedding to Diana, The Mail on Sunday said.
“It is quite sinister the way that Morgan is clearly using light entertainment to drive a very overt republican agenda and people just don’t see it,” one of Charles’ friends told the UK paper.
“They have been lured in over the first few series until they can’t see how they are being manipulated.
“It is highly sophisticated propaganda,” the friend claimed.