Culture Secretary defends his calls for The Crown 'fiction disclaimer'

11 December 2020, 08:31

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has defended his calls for Netflix to add a disclaimer to The Crown pointing out it is 'fiction'.

Speaking to Mr Dowden, Nick Ferrari pointed out it seemed the Minister was engaged in a "war of words" with one of the stars of Netflix drama The Crown.

The Culture Secretary’s calls to add a disclaimer to Netflix’s The Crown have been described as “outrageous” by Prince Charles actor Josh O’Connor.

The actor who plays Prince Charles in the historical drama branded a request by Mr Dowden for the show to carry a disclaimer, "a low blow."

Responding to this, Mr Dowden said he has "huge affection" for The Crown, but "it is the case that it's a work of fiction."

He said if you looked at similar shows on other channels they frequently have a disclaimer at the start telling viewers it is a work of fiction.

He said he believed it was "perfectly reasonable for Netflix to do the same thing."

The conversation comes after Mr Dowden weighed in amid criticism of historical liberties taken by the drama about the British royal family.

Prince Charles actor Josh O’Connor told the LA Times’ podcast: “We were slightly let down by our Culture Secretary, whose job it is to encourage culture.

“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.”

In a statement at the weekend, Netflix said it had always presented the dramatic work as just that.

“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,” it said.

“As a result we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer.”