Carry fiction warning for The Crown: British minister

Culture Minister Oliver Dowden (right) is expected to write to Netflix to ask for a warning to be added before each episode of The Crown. The latest season of the series stars Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and  Josh O’Connor (both left) as Prince C
Culture Minister Oliver Dowden (right) is expected to write to Netflix to ask for a warning to be added before each episode of The Crown. The latest season of the series stars Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Josh O’Connor (both left) as Prince Charles. PHOTOS: NETFLIX, REUTERS

LONDON • Netflix hit series The Crown should make clear that much of its content is fiction over fears of damage to the image of the British royal family, a government minister said.

"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," Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told The Mail on Sunday.

"Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact".

Mr Dowden is expected to formally write to the American streaming company to request it add a warning before each episode.

Some of the latest episodes in the series, which follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II and her close family, revolve around Prince Charles and his doomed marriage to wife Diana.

Those close to the royal family fear that fabricated scenes are hurting the monarchy, particularly heir to the throne Charles.

"It is quite sinister the way that screenwriter Peter Morgan is clearly using light entertainment to drive a very overt republican agenda and people just don't see it," an unnamed friend of the prince told the paper.

Although largely sympathetic to Diana, her brother Charles Spencer has also called for Netflix to make clear some scenes are fictional.

"It would help The Crown an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode, it stated that 'this isn't true, but is based on some real events'. Because then everyone would understand it's drama for drama's sake," Mr Spencer told ITV.

English actress Emma Corrin, who plays Diana in The Crown, has also responded to criticism of her portrayal of the beloved figure.

In a recent appearance on the Tamron Hall Show, she admitted that Morgan's scripts are works of fiction, although the show has its roots in reality and in some fact.

"I think for everyone in The Crown, we always try and remind everyone that what we are, the series that we're in, is fictionalised to a great extent," the 25-year-old actress said on the talk show.

More than 70 million households worldwide have watched The Crown, which is in its fourth season, since it began in 2016, according to figures released by Netflix.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2020, with the headline 'Carry fiction warning for The Crown: British minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe