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Judi Dench Urges Netflix To Add A Disclaimer To The Crown

"The Crown" is a historical drama series that has provided a sweeping panorama of the major events of UK history since World War II while also telling a fly-on-the-wall dramatized account of the late Queen Elizabeth II's reign. One of the most unique attributes of the series since its premiere in 2016 on Netflix is how it recreates the famous people of an ancient institution in ways people have never seen before outside of rare interviews. But since the British royal family is still very much intact today, creator Peter Morgan's probing storytelling may be a bit uncomfortable for some in its personal flourishes.

Season 5 of "The Crown" is expected to cover the 1990s, which included rampant scandals, divorce, and Diana's tragic death. Controversy has surrounded the upcoming installment before its release, with former British Prime Minister Sir John Major, who will be played by Johnny Lee Miller in the fifth season, calling the show "A barrel load of malicious nonsense" to The Daily Mail. Dame Judi Dench, who played the first Queen Elizabeth in "Shakespeare in Love," and Queen Victoria in "Victoria & Abdul" has also spoken out about the program and is urging Netflix to add a disclaimer to alert audiences of its fictionalized parts.

Judi Dench calls The Crown an inaccurate and hurtful account of history

Judi Dench wrote an open letter to The Times UK concerning Season 5 of "The Crown." She opened her statement with, "Sir John Major is not alone in his concerns that the latest series of 'The Crown' will present an inaccurate and hurtful account of history..." She then pointed out how the show is willing to twist facts the closer it moves toward the present day. The '90s featured some of Queen Elizabeth's most tragic moments due to the breakdown of three of her four children's marriages and a fire at the ancient Windsor Castle. Furthermore, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the late summer of 1997 brought about a strong wave of UK republicanism (per The Guardian).

Dench then turned her attention towards Netflix in The Times UK letter and added, "No one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I, but this cannot go unchallenged. Despite this week stating publicly that The Crown has always been a 'fictionalized drama' the program makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode." She then finished by stating, "The time has come for Netflix to reconsider — for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years and to preserve their own reputation in the eyes of their British subscribers."