It seems that the UK government still hasn’t given up the effort to pressure Netflix into adding a disclaimer at the beginning of The Crown to let their viewers know that the events in regard to the Royal Family are more often than not fictitious, or in the words of Culture minister John Whittingdale, “speculation or imagination as to what might have happened.”
The latest season of Peter Morgan’s historical drama series, dealing with the dilemmas of the British monarchy, has been a subject of scrutiny ever since premiering last month on Netflix. Of course, there’s no denying that the show has been controversial since its conception, at least to some degree. But the arrival of Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, whose marriage and tragic death is still arguably the most sensitive topic to broach in the history of the Royal Family, has definitely put a strain on the streaming juggernaut’s relationship with Her Majesty’s Government.
Indeed, after Netflix refused to add a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode as per the request of culture secretary Oliver Dowden, MP John Whittingdale was recently asked by Labour lawmaker Kevin Brennan during a committee hearing whether he thinks people are gullible enough to think the show is a documentary, to which he replied:
“I would hope not. Most people are aware that dramatized accounts of real-life events inevitably require some speculation.”
When Brennan pressed that Dowden may have made himself look bad by suggesting the British people need a health warning, the junior culture secretary disagreed, stating:
“These are events that are quite raw and controversial, and they involve people such as the existing Prince of Wales and his sons. It does no harm, particularly because those events did generate strong views and emotions on both sides. It is not unhelpful to remind people… that this is not based on any insider knowledge, but is a dramatization of somebody’s speculation or imagination as to what might have happened.”
While the UK government can’t exactly compel Netflix to comply with their requests, it seems that the show has brought up a new matter of whether the state should think about new regulations for foreign streamers.
“UK traditional broadcasters are subject to quite stringent requirements,” the minister said. “And then you have the video on demand services, which are really subject to no regulation or requirements at all. That is something that is quite a stark difference. Whether or not we would want to look at having some kind of basic requirements on the video on demand services is something which I think the government might well think about.”
Tell us, though, have you had the chance to catch up with the fourth season of The Crown? If so, what were your thoughts on Princess Diana’s storyline? Sound off down below.