Judi Dench slams The Crown's 'crude sensationalism,' calls for Netflix to add disclaimer

Judi Dench
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Dame Judi Dench is joining in on criticism against The Crown ahead of its new season, calling on Netflix to add a disclaimer noting it's a "fictionalised" depiction of the royal family.

Dench, who played Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love, in a letter to The Times (via CNN) raised concerns about the upcoming fifth season of The Crown and how accurate it will be to history. The season, which premieres in November, is expected to take place in the 1990s and cover events like the divorce of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

"The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism," Dench wrote.

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Dench went on to say that while many viewers understand The Crown is a "brilliant but fictionalised account of events," she fears "a significant number of viewers, particularly overseas, may take its version of history as being wholly true," so she called for Netflix to add a disclaimer making this clear.

"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," Dench continues.

A report from theTelegraph recently said Buckingham Palace has "moved to protect the reputation" of King Charles as Netflix "prepares to dramatise the 'all out war' of his marriage to Diana" in the new season. Former British prime minister John Major also recently criticized the show to The Mail over a reported "nonsense" scene suggesting Charles plotted to oust the queen. Netflix has defended the series as a "fictional dramatisation."

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