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THE CROWN Adds Disclaimer After Judi Dench Calls Show ‘Inaccurate and Hurtful’

Photo from THE CROWN’s Instagram

THE CROWN Adds Disclaimer After Judi Dench Calls Show ‘Inaccurate and Hurtful’

By Movieguide® Contributor

THE CROWN is adding a new disclaimer to their show after many have criticized the show for sensationalizing real-life events. 

The YouTube and Twitter account for the show now have the description, “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.”

The creators of THE CROWN have also defended the show by saying it “has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.”

This disclaimer comes after Dame Judi Dench slammed the show in a letter to the Times of London. 

“While many will recognize THE CROWN for the brilliant but fictionalized account of events that it is, I fear that a significant number of viewers, particularly overseas, may take its version of history as being wholly true,” she wrote

Dench continued, “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 — this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent.”

The actress went on to call THE CROWN an “inaccurate and hurtful account of history,” and called for a disclaimer to be shown at the beginning of each episode to remind viewers that many moments are entirely fictionalized. 

Movieguide® previously reported on criticisms of THE CROWN’s dramatized versions of historical events: 

Britain’s culture minister voiced her aversion to the royal drama THE CROWN’s fourth season and demanded that it be labeled as a work of fiction. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the Mail that the hit Netflix series could be misleading and claims the series takes too many historical liberties.

“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction,” Dowden explained to the outlet. “So as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that. Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

THE CROWN, which first premiered in 2016, traces the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, 94, which began in 1952. While the show brought up a similar question of historical accuracy with the previous season, season 4 garnered the most attention.   

The current season is set in the 1980s and focuses on Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It also highlights the 11-year tenure of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  

THE CROWN creator Peter Morgan defended the show. In 2017 Morgan said: “You sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”

Morally, THE CROWN offers a wide range of content. Some episodes contain faith values and strong positive elements while others, Movieguide® advises, should be avoided.