The Crown's Josh O'Connor Slams "Outrageous" Proposed Fiction Disclaimer

The Crown star Josh O’Connor responded to British culture minister Olivier Dowden’s request that Netflix append a “fiction” label to the series.

By Mike Vulpo Dec 09, 2020 6:20 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: All Hail "The Crown"

Josh O'Connor is here to remind fans that he's making art.

As The Crown continues to be a huge hit on Netflix, some are quick to criticize the show's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth and the British royal family. In fact, British culture minister Oliver Dowden recently asked that Netflix append a "fiction" label to the series.

According to Josh, who plays Prince Charles, it's simply unnecessary. "We were slightly let down by our culture secretary, whose job it is to encourage culture," he shared with the Los Angeles Times during an interview for The Envelope: The Podcast. "In my opinion, it's pretty outrageous that he came out and said what he said. Particularly, in this time when he knows that the arts are struggling and they're on their knees, I think it's a bit of a low blow."

Josh continued, "My personal view is that audiences understand. You have to show them the respect and understand that they're intelligent enough to see it for what it is, which is pure fiction."

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Just last month, the British culture minister spoke to the Mail on Sunday newspaper and shared his thoughts on the Netflix TV series. While he called it a "beautifully produced work of fiction," Oliver feared audiences wouldn't know what's true or made up.


"As with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that," he shared. "Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact."

For the record, Netflix recently released a statement where they rejected the call to add a disclaimer. "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," the streaming service stated. "As a result we have no plans—and see no need—to add a disclaimer."

Ultimately, other stars agree with Josh that a disclaimer isn't necessary. In a previous interview with the Los Angeles Times, Emerald Fennell, who plays Camilla Parker Bowles, was asked to weigh in. While she said the question is "completely above" the cast's pay grade, she reminded fans it is a TV show.

"It is a drama, so I don't know necessarily that it could, in the same way that I'm sure that the early series of The Crown wouldn't necessarily have changed people's minds about the queen," she explained. "People probably look to reality more to make their minds up."

The Crown is currently streaming on Netflix.