Did Netflix Add a Disclaimer to The Crown Trailer Amid Controversy? Here's What We Know

Following blowback from Dame Judi Dench and ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major, Netflix has made it clear that The Crown is a work of fiction. Read their full note here.

By Charlotte Walsh Oct 21, 2022 3:19 PMTags
Watch: Dame Judi Dench SLAMS The Crown as "Cruelly Unjust"

Netflix is sending out a royal proclamation. 

Following blowback from figures like Dame Judi Dench and former Prime Minister Sir John Major, about the upcoming fifth season of The Crown, the streamer is making it clear that the hit series is a work of fiction.

"Inspired by real events," the description reads on YouTube and Twitter, "This fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign."

While previous seasons' descriptions have included similar language, none have included the word "fictional."

The move follows high-profile backlash to the fifth season, which is premiering nearly two months to the day after the Queen's Sept. 8 death. In a letter to U.K. publication The Times on Oct. 19, Dench slammed the show as "crude sensationalism." The Oscar-winning actress pointed to one rumored scene in particular as an example of this, which reportedly shows then-Prince Charles (Dominic West) attempting to convince then-Prime Minister Major (Jonny Lee Miller) to persuade Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) to abdicate the throne.

The Crown Season 5 Photos

"Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series—that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother's parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence," Dench wrote, "this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent."

Major himself criticized the depiction of himself in the series, calling it "a barrel-load of malicious nonsense" and batting away claims that he consulted with the series in an Oct. 15 interview with The Daily Mail. Just a day later, Netflix defended the series, with a spokesperson telling the outlet Oct. 16 that the season is "a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family—one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians."

Season five of The Crown will cover the series of scandals that plagued the royal family throughout the '90s, like the Queen's 1992 "annus horribilis," "Camillagate" and Princess Diana's infamous 1995 BBC interview

The Crown season five premieres Nov. 9 on Netflix. 

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