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U.K. culture secretary warns The Crown should not be mistaken for fact

Turns out, not everybody is an all-adoring fan of The Crown.

On Sunday, the U.K.'s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, suggested that each episode of the Netflix royal drama should begin with a disclaimer stating that the show is not factual. "It's a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that," Dowden told the Mail on Sunday in an interview. "Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact."

The fourth season of The Crown follows the life of the royal family during the 1980s, which means many of the main characters' real-life counterparts are still living. The new episodes focus mostly on Prince Charles (played by Josh O'Connor on the show) and Princess Diana's (Emma Corrin) strained marriage, as well as Margaret Thatcher's (portrayed by Gillian Anderson) years in office as prime minister, at times, butting heads with Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman).

Dowden — who plans to write to Netflix on the topic — is not alone in this school of thought. Earl Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana, has also made clear he believes the series should warn viewers that it takes artistic license with actual events. "I think it would help The Crown an enormous amount if, at the beginning of each episode, it stated that: 'This isn't true but it is based around some real events,'" he said during an interview with British broadcaster ITV.
Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond, former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter, and Thatcher biographer Charles Moore have also all spoken out about what they believe to be the show's loose grasp of the truth. Bond reminded viewers the show is not a documentary but a drama, while Arbiter claimed season 4 was "stretching dramatic license to the extreme."

Season 4 of The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.

U.K. culture secretary warns The Crown should not be mistaken for fact | EW.com
 

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Gillian Anderson discusses her transformation into British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and how she approached a role of such magnitude. Fellow cast and crew also give their thoughts on how the historical figure was brought back to life.

 

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‘The Crown’: Netflix Has “No Plans” To Add A Disclaimer, Says Its Members Understand “It’s A Work Of Fiction”

The latest fourth season of Netflix’s drama The Crown has faced some backlash in the U.K. over its depiction of the royal family and other public figures. Earlier this week, Culture secretary Oliver Dowden wrote a letter to the streamer, asking for a disclaimer to be added that makes it clear to Netflix’s 195M subscribers that the royal drama is partly a work of fiction. Netflix has declined the request.

“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,” the streamer said in a statement to Deadline. “As a result we have no plans – and see no need – to add a disclaimer.”

While Dowden gave an interview prior to contacting Netflix, his letter has not been made public, and I hear Netflix replied, also privately.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday a week ago, Dowden said: “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, 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.”

In the UK, there has been a lot of press about Season 4 of The Crown, which chronicles the romance and stormy marriage between Prince Charles and Diana. It has included accusations of historic fabrications in the award-winning drama, penned by Peter Morgan and produced by Left Bank Pictures. The media discussion has not translated into official complaints — according to sources, there have been 12 to date about the new season in the UK.

 

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Discussion Starter #64 (Edited)
Netflix is greatly overestimating its audiences' capacity to sort out fact from fiction. We're living in a post-truth world where a country's leader can say without evidence an election was fraudulently stolen from him, and tens of millions of people will believe him without question. If this were a show on a more serious subject, I'd be troubled by Netflix not labeling gross distortions of history with even a simple "Based on actual events" at the start of each episode.
 

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‘The Crown’ Lands Record Haul Of Golden Globe Nominations
By Jake Kanter

The Crown put in a regal performance among Golden Globe voters, as Season 4 of Netflix’s lavish royal drama scooped a record number of nominations.

The Left Bank Pictures series was nominated six times, two more than its previous record of four nods in 2019. It was also the most-nominated TV series of 2021.

The Crown is up for best television series, while it also picked up five nominations in the acting categories. Olivia Colman (who plays Queen Elizabeth II) and newcomer Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) will duke it out for best actress, while Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles) is up for best actor. There was no room, however, for Tobias Menzies’ portrayal of Prince Philip.

Elsewhere, Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter are both in the running for best supporting actress. The former played Margaret Thatcher, while Bonham Carter featured for a second season as Princess Margaret.

The record haul of nominations is a fitting farewell for the current cast, who have stepped into royal shoes for the last time on Netflix’s hit series. Season 5 will usher in a completely new lineup when it launches next year, including Imelda Staunton as the Queen.

The Golden Globes ceremony is usually in January, but with the Oscars’ moving to April 25, this year’s Globes are set for February 28 (the old Oscars date).

 

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50x times better than the 'post teenage' crap that Hollywood has turned out in the past 10+ years but I still liked Downton Abby better. ;)

AFA a "work of fiction" I don't necessary but that either.
 

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Gillian Anderson Celebrates Golden Globes Nod Ahead Of Virtual Ceremony: “It’ll Be A Night I Will Never Forget”
By Joe Utichi

Gillian Anderson is no stranger to the ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hilton where the Golden Globes ceremony usually takes place. She was nominated four times for The X-Files, winning once, and received another nod for Bleak House. “It’s really the most fun of all [the awards shows],” she said this morning, reflecting on her sixth nomination. She adds to her tally this year for her turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, but she’s sorry the show won’t happen in person. “I’ll be in Prague, on my own in a hotel room that night, and it’ll be a night I will never forget, no matter the outcome.”

What makes the Globes so enjoyable? “I’ve been in the business long enough and fortunately got to be in that room for some special moments,” she said. “I was there when Gwyneth won, famously, for Shakespeare in Love and Ben and Matt for Good Will Hunting. When you used to be able to smoke in the room, and then when nobody was allowed to smoke, but Sean Penn was still determined to do so anyway and nobody could tell him otherwise. It’s a fabulous room to be in and I’m trying not to focus on the shame of our current situation.”

Instead, her focus is on the team that made her nomination come to fruition. “I’m grateful to Peter Morgan, first and foremost, for he and Nina Gold imagining that I might be able to play her, and for writing such a complex and multifaceted version of Margaret Thatcher,” she said. “It was something I was really able to sink my teeth into. Especially on a show like that you really feel the imput of every hand that goes into it. All the entire camera crew, and of course costume designer Amy Roberts and Cate Hall, who designed the fabulous nine-foot-tall wig. It’s really a team effort.”

The upcoming fifth season of the show will be a new experience, Anderson said, watching it as a fan for the first time. “I was involved in the background of the series, even prior to being in it, because of my past relationship with Peter Morgan,” she noted. “So, I felt I was part of the family prior to being a castmember. But all the prime ministers only do one season and it’s always been that way. I knew going in it would just be a year, and absolutely I’ll continue to watch it as a fan going forward.”

As for whether playing Margaret Thatcher gave Anderson a taste for high office, she said, “Who would want to be Boris [Johnson] today? Who would have wanted to be Obama? I don’t think many of us would wish to be in a Prime Minister’s or President’s shoes. Everyone in high office inherits so many problems and issues. To not be able to have a lie in, first and foremost, or to not be able to make mistakes in speaking to friends or even the public, is such monumental pressure, let alone the responsibility for nations that you have. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Thatcher, she said, was “built for it—she absolutely was. She says in the series, politics is her first love. That’s where she felt the most at home and where she operated the best, she felt. Whether people agreed with her or not. And she lived and breathed it. She slept very little and her brain was just suited for that office. To many, I think, it would be debilitating and exhausting. And I think some would say she, too, was debilitated by it at the end of her tenure.”

 

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sweeping up at the Golden Globes again...

Best Drama
Best Drama Actress- Emma Corrin
Best Drama Actor- Josh O’Connor
Supporting Actress in a Series, TV-Movie or Miniseries- Gillian Anderson
 

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‘The Crown’ Continues Winning Streak At SAG Awards, Netflix Series Scores Outstanding Ensemble
By Dino-Ray Ramos

Netflix’s The Crown continues to add more jewels to its award season scepter. On Sunday night, the royal family drama scored two trophies at the 27th annual SAG Awards including Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor for Gillian Anderson.

“Thank you Peter Morgan for writing so many lovely parts, we all loved it, let’s do it again,” said Olivia Colman upon accepting the award for Outstanding Ensemble on behalf of the cast. The actress went on to thank the national health service “during this very peculiar year”. She added, “We’re very lucky in the UK to have you.”

...

 

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‘The Crown’ Season 5 to Start Filming in July (EXCLUSIVE)

By Manori Ravindran

The Crown” is gearing up for its next, hotly anticipated season.

Production on season 5 of the hit Netflix series is set to start in July, Variety has confirmed with the show’s producers. This season will feature a whole new cast of actors playing the iconic royals, with “Tenet” star Elizabeth Debicki starring as Princess Diana; Dominic West portraying Prince Charles; Imelda Staunton playing the Queen; and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.

Crew is now starting to trickle back into Elstree Studios, just north of London, where the bulk of the Left Bank-produced show is filmed, and cameras hope to start rolling under strict COVID-19 protocols. It’s hoped that, by July especially, the U.K. will be well on its way to recovering from the devastating impact of the pandemic. The country will begin to ease restrictions from April 12 following a third national lockdown that was put in place in January.

Filming across TV and film has continued throughout the pandemic, largely thanks to swift action taken early on by various industry orgs, such as the British Film Institute and producers’ trade body Pact.

“The Crown” wrapped season 4 filming early, ending production just ahead of the U.K.’s first lockdown in March 2020. Nonetheless, Sony-backed Left Bank was able to deliver the series on time for its smash November debut. The latest season, which saw the long-awaited arrival of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), has revitalized the Peter Morgan-created series, drawing huge audiences and winning acclaim, including Golden Globes and SAG Awards this season.

Premiering in 2016, “The Crown” has followed the royal family through several time periods, starting in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s marriage and early careers. Season 3, released in 2019, jumped forward in time to the 1960s and 1970s, replacing the cast with older actors. Season 4 followed the relationship between Princess Diana, who was born in 1961, and Prince Charles, while season 5 will delve into the early 1990s — a hugely turbulent period for the Royal Family.

Debicki, Staunton and others will comprise the final cast for the show, which — after some back and forth — is set to end with season 6, taking the series up to the early 2000s, meaning that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will never figure in the show.

Last month, in an interview with James Corden, Harry revealed that he had, in fact, seen “The Crown,” and spoke candidly about his impressions of the drama. “It’s fictional, but it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate; it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle is, the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that.

“I’m way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing the stories written about my family, my wife, or myself,” the prince continued. “That is obviously fiction, take it how you will, but this is being reported on as fact because you are supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”

 
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