“Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign,” the disclaimer reads. Previous trailers for the series didn’t come with similar language below them. Netflix has though highlighted the “fictionalized” nature of the drama on social media and on its The Crown landing page.
The company has to remind people the show has never claimed to be a purely factual account of events.
However, Judi Dench who struggled with knowing the difference between truth and fiction criticized the show for “crude sensationalism” and Netflix’s announcing the show is a “fictionalized drama” didn’t go far enough and should create a more explicit disclaimer “at the start of each episode,” she argued.
Dench took particular issue with reports that season five will imply that then Prince Charles plotted to oust his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, as monarch during the dark days of the early ’90s. The actress described pushing this version of events as “both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent.”
The letter concludes with Dench imploring Netflix to consider the feelings of the royal family and the U.K., still grieving over the death of the queen on Sept. 8, at 96. Dench writes that a reconsideration of the disclaimer would be a “mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years, and to preserve its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers.”
Season 5 of the show starts in the early 1990s after the departure of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister, with the relationship between Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles under strain. Imelda Staunton, Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West replace Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor in key roles in the latest season.