'The Crown': Netflix Will Not Add Disclaimer Calling Series Fiction

Netflix has decided against adding a disclaimer to The Crown, clarifying that the series is a dramatized and fictional retelling of the British royal family's lives. The decision came after U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told The Daily Mail that a label like that should be added to the acclaimed series so people understand that not every part of the series reflects reality. The show's fourth season was released last month and covers Margaret Thatcher's premiership and introduces Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.

The streaming giant told Variety Sunday it believes its viewers understand that The Crown, created by Peter Morgan, is fictional. "We have always presented The Crown as a drama – and we have every confidence our members understand it's a work of fiction that's broadly based on historical events," a Netflix spokesperson said. "As a result, we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer."

In an interview with the Daily Mail last week, Dowden praised the series but said Netflix needs to clarify that events depicted on the show do not always follow reality to the letter. "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," Dowden said. "Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for a fact."

Other critics of the show told the Daily Mail they also want Netflix to add a disclaimer. Charles Spencer, Diana's brother, told ITV Netflix should add a "health warning" to every episode. "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,'" Spencer said. "Then, everyone would understand it's a drama for drama's sake. Obviously, Netflix wants to make a lot of money, and that's why people are in the business of making these things. I worry people do think that this is the gospel, and that's unfair."


The Crown Season 4 is set during the late 1970s and continues through the 1980s. Some episodes show Diana's struggle with bulimia, and they do include health warnings for viewers. Corrin told Variety they were "difficult scenes" to film, but said it was a "good thing" to show it on screen. "t gave me somewhere to go with her, but I was exhausted a lot those days coming offset because at the same time as you're playing someone who's fictionalized and obviously you're not feeling or thinking those things, it's your job to make yourself feel that way," the actress explained.