Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sorry, British royals: Netflix will not be adding a "this is all fiction" disclaimer to The Crown

The Crown
The Crown
Photo: Netflix

Today in news that might be taken as a bit of a bother by exclusively one fancy family and the people who care too much about them, Netflix has released a statement saying that it will not be adding a disclaimer in front of episodes of The Crown to make it explicitly clear that the show is, in fact, a fictionalized drama based on historical events and not some kind of direct cinema documentary where Netflix put cameras around Queen Elizabeth II and just watched her go for 60 years.

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This all started last week, when U.K. culture secretary Oliver Dowden suggested to The Daily Mail that there was a danger of an entire generation of TV viewers growing up under the impression that the events of The Crown all really happened—a concern that is slightly more pressing now that the show’s timeline has gotten a little closer to the present day. The implication is that the show’s depiction of certain members of the British royal family might not be as positive as the family and its most loyal supporters would hope, so younger viewers might come away thinking that things happened in real life exactly as they did in the show.

But no, according to Netflix, people are actually smart enough to recognize the difference between TV and real life (a rare vote of confidence from a tech company). As reported by Variety, a Netflix spokesperson has explained that the service has “always presented The Crown as a drama,” and so it has “every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events.” Variety also notes that Dowden sent Netflix a “private letter” about this issue and that the company sent him a private response, but we don’t have any details about that. It does seem to indicate that you can get personal responses from Netflix if you’re in a suitably important government position. Any fans of The OA working in a high-level position out there? Here’s your chance!