Helena Bonham Carter: We have a ‘moral responsibility’ to say The Crown is dramatized

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It continues to amuse me to see how many “Establishment” figures in the UK have their panties in a twist about The Crown. Specifically, The Crown’s Season 4, where Princess Diana is introduced and a new generation watches as the “Establishment” sets out to gaslight, marginalize and destroy a young woman. The fact that Diana could keep her wits and her truth throughout those years is extraordinary, and seeing Diana’s ordeal dramatized in The Crown has destroyed two decades of careful PR from Prince Charles. Charles is SO MAD about it. And I still believe that Charles is behind all of the efforts to delegitimize The Crown. So… did Charles call up Helena Bonham Carter, who starred for two seasons as Princess Margaret?

The calls for Netflix to add a disclaimer to its hit royal series The Crown don’t appear to be dying down any time soon. Helena Bonham Carter — who plays Princess Margaret in seasons 3 and 4 — has now added her voice to the growing argument, saying that producers have a “moral responsibility” to tell viewers that it’s a drama.

Speaking on a newly-released episode of an official podcast for the show, she claimed there was an important distinction to make between “our version” of the events depicted, and “the version.”

“It is dramatized,” she said. “I do feel very strongly, because I think we have a moral responsibility to say, ‘Hang on guys, this is not… it’s not a drama-doc, we’re making a drama.’ So they are two different entities.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Yes, everyone should know that The Crown is a drama. Which is why Netflix has categorized as a Drama for the past four seasons. Which is why the actors involved have won awards in Drama categories. Which is why Peter Morgan has won awards for writing television screenplays for original works. In all of the conversations around The Crown these days – many of them by Gen Z – literally no one is claiming that The Crown is a documentary, or that everything shown on The Crown is 100% accurate. Morgan and the actors have always made it perfectly clear that the show has always been dramatizations based on history. Again, the broad strokes are right. It’s absurd for Prince Charles and Helena Bonham Carter and all of these government ministers to fuss about it, my God.

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Photos courtesy of Netflix/The Crown.

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65 Responses to “Helena Bonham Carter: We have a ‘moral responsibility’ to say The Crown is dramatized”

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  1. Izzy says:

    Imagine being so far up your own arse that you’ve decided the viewing public is too stupid to discern this for themselves. HBC acts in fiction movies all the time, so she better slap a label on those too, or we plebes might get confused, oh noes!

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

      THIS from the actor who played Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she think we’re so stupid that we need of disclaimer at the front of the Harry Potter movies talking about how magic isn’t real? She knows we know she is an ACTOR, right?

    • minx says:

      It’s patronizing, FFS.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Exactly,

      Also it must be nice wherever these complainers are living, no global pandemic or Brexit fallout to worry about, if this is what has them so hot and bothered. And yes I know that people can be concerned about several things at once, but members of government are talking about this nonsense right now, and not how the Christmas gift we will all be receiving is more lock downs and financial pressure in the new year.

      We will be getting disclaimers that water is wet soon.

      • Scorpion says:

        Coming soon to a town nearby, Water is Wet, Fire Burns and the Sky is blue. Netflix has the series under the Drama banner.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Pretty establishment for her. I would have expected better!

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Has she been given a dame status yet, or is she hoping this will earn her that status? It amaze me the people who will cape for the royal institution in order to get a meaningless title.

      • TeamMeg says:

        Exactly what I was thinking!

      • I love HBC as an actor, but I think she’s playing to the royal establishment here. Bad on her. As a member of the public I’m perfectly capable of understanding The Crown is a fictionalization of actual events. I love the comment above that maybe Harry Potter films should be relabeled…or how about a notice put on The King’s Speech…..oh right…the royal family loved that fictionalization of actual events. She needs to sit down and shut up. If Stephen Fry or Emma Thompson jump on this bandwagon, you’ll know this is Charles calling in favors from the artsy fartsy crowd that adore him.

      • Ashley says:

        She’s no longer on the show and I remember reading she would have liked to continue playing Margret but they told her no. Clearly she’s still annoyed about it and and is choosing a side. I guess she thinks no one will remember they fired her for the last two seasons.

    • lucky says:

      Actually, I don’t think she is far off… the earlier story about the terrible bullying of contestants in a baking competition who are being told to kill themselves because the didn’t get sent home speaks VOLUMES about the unhinged masses that watch these programs! A little louder for the people in the back, Helen, haha.

  2. Belli says:

    At this point I kind of do want a disclaimer at the start of the show.

    “Some of the events that you are about to see have been improved for your viewing pleasure. Go and look it up. They’re actually much, much worse than this.”

  3. Becks1 says:

    This is getting stupider by the day.

    WHO thinks the Crown is nonfiction?!?!?! No one! I’m not going to write a term paper on Princess Margaret’s life and cite to the Crown. No one is doing that!

    But what we ARE saying is that the story is generally true. Margaret was a very troubled alcoholic. Diana was super young and out of her depth when she married Charles and the family treated her pretty horribly. Charles had an affair with Camilla (emotional if not physical) for the entire duration of his marriage to Diana.

    Did the Queen have lunch with Anne and Anne bitched about Diana’s media coverage? I don’t know and I don’t care. That’s part of the drama and the storyline and it worked for that episode. But whether or not that happened, Anne still had affairs and cheated on Mark Phillips etc.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks I feel like literally everyone has been saying this for weeks now, but either they’re not listening or they think we’re dumber than rocks and need to be reminded on a daily basis. It is so patronizing and it makes me dislike Charles even more, the exact opposite of what he’s going for here, lol.

      • Becks1 says:

        Honestly, at this point if I were Netflix, I would ask Peter Morgan to make a show about “fact vs fiction” and compare what the Crown says happened with what ACTUALLY Happened (I know they did that in their IG stories, but lets go big with this one.) The royal family insists it isn’t a documentary? okay, lets make a documentary. Oh wait, whats that, you don’t actually want people to know how bad it REALLY was? You don’t want to remind people that Charles had multiple mistresses? Or how messy Fergie and Andrew were? oh okay then.

      • Lorelei says:

        Exactly 😂

        The royals had better be careful with what they wish for…

  4. Mac says:

    Are people writing history papers based on the Tudors series or the movie Elizabeth? It’s so ridiculous that they think we can’t discern entertain from facts.

  5. Sofia says:

    Thing is The Crown could put a disclaimer saying “The following is a dramatisation of events and should not be treated as facts” and there are people who would still believe it’s true.

    Peter Morgan, Netflix and whoever else they want to blame can’t control that.

  6. Harper says:

    The Times UK is really going strong on these Netflix needs a disclaimer articles. There were two such articles posted between yesterday and today — this Bonham-Carter excerpt that was recorded a while ago, and an opinion piece. For those of you who know this stuff, is The Times usually one of Clarence House’s go-to papers? It’s been over two weeks since The Crown premiered and the Royal Idiots are keeping it in the news cycle by all this constant whining. And did anyone care when they portrayed Elizabeth as a cold-hearted woman who couldn’t sympathize with dead children, or Philip a womanizer in the previous season? No outrage then.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Harper that’s the funniest part — they weren’t clamoring for these disclaimers during the first few seasons in which they thought they were portrayed favorably!

      Do they think we don’t realize that? They really, really underestimate how transparent their little machinations are, lol.

  7. Implicit says:

    Helena my hero noooooooo

  8. Ariel says:

    And again i point out Streisand Effect. The more you talk about it, the bigger the story you were unhappy with becomes.
    There is zero question that the Crown is fictionalized conversations about real public events. The events in The Crown are public knowledge, much reported on factual events.
    Obviously, the personal discussions of the royal family are fictionalized…. unless they get to that part about Charles’ taped conversations with Camilla where he wants to live in her trousers and be her tampon. Because that is factual, and frankly scarred a lot of us for life.

    But again, sorry Charles 20 years of rehabilitating his image was in vain, but that never explain never complain thing really would have served him here.
    Instead, he is making it so much worse for himself and his current wife.

    • Eleonor says:

      This.
      So this.
      It’s like telling that Gillian Anderson aka Dr. Dana Scully is not Dana Scully, neither Margareth Tatcher: do they really think people are this stupid ?

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Literally no one has claimed the show is a documentary. This is such a weird, unreasonable take.

  10. Tanguerita says:

    Helen is a good actress, but she has always been kooky, to say the least. I remember shaking my head in disbelief when she, without a trace of irony, revealed that she talked to Princess Margaret’s ghost and sought its blessing. Apparently Margaret was rather taken with the idea of being played by Helen. So, puh-lease, Helen, just shut your trap.

  11. Wilma says:

    Well, Helena also really likes Johnny Depp and believes he wouldn’t have pursued his most recent court case if he wouldn’t win it.

  12. Ana says:

    The biggest evidence for The Crown being fact rather than fiction is the royal family’s reactions to it, lol

  13. Amy Bee says:

    Isn’t Helena Bonham Carter a member of the British aristocracy? So I’m not surprised by her comments even though she chose to take a role in the Crown. I think the British public should be outraged by the attitude of Charles and the establishment who believe that they are too stupid to know that the Crown is not a documentary.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I’m pretty sure someone from the Bonham Carter family was prince Phillips private secretary in the 70s. Probably a great uncle or something like that.

    • Sofia says:

      Yeah her family are pretty well connected in politics but I don’t know if they would be considered full blown aristos

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonham_Carter_family

      • Original Penguin says:

        She’s descended from the Asquiths. She’s a bout as establishment as you get without having her own title!

    • Mignionette says:

      Yes she is. And one of her uncle’s was a good friend (possible ex-bf) of Princess Margaret’s.

      Helena is protecting her dame-hood. She need not worry bc Betty or Billy will give it to her regardless of how Chuck feels.

      I think Chuck has been on the blower to her and she probably asked the Crown’s comms people can I just slip that in somewhere to shut him up.

      If anything Chuck’s meltdown shows how he hasn’t changed and how he continues to meddle politically for his own ends. In doing so he also shows the spectacular bad judgement he has always been condemned for,

      More and more I feel like the tabs set Chuck up and he walked right into the trap by screaming and shouting about how hard done he is.

      I am predicting the new news cycle will be how he lobbied politicians at a time of national crisis to fight his corner.

  14. Alexandrajane says:

    I went from the crown to Diana in her own words and it was fascinating and showed just how accurate key point were, but I don’t think I would have been so compelled to resurch more if hadn’t been for this bonkers and misguided campaign from the Royals.

    • Lorelei says:

      I’m so glad that someone here mentioned that yesterday was the last day that would be on Netflix, because I watched it last night, and…wow. Even though we already know most of what happened, it was extremely powerful to listen to Diana talking about events as we watch actual footage of it playing out.

      That should be required viewing for anyone who doesn’t understand why, even all these years later, people are still incredibly sympathetic to Diana and will never be able to abide Camilla. Her treatment was so egregious that it’s not something we can forget and move on from.

      I hope lots and lots of people are seeing the parallels between this family’s treatment of Diana and their treatment of Meghan. The timing of this season was *perfect* because I bet it’s making at least some people who complained about Meghan reconsider that maybe she was living through a hell like this and was right to leave.

  15. Jolie says:

    It seems to me that many folks seem the think The Crown is actually factual, or at least the parts that suit them to think so.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Jolie I agree with you, but if these people are that moronic enough to believe that, I doubt a short disclaimer will change their minds.

      Every single thing about the Royal response to this is only having unintended consequences— more people are tuning in due to curiosity, and people who’ve already watched it are fully convinced that for the most part, it really is accurate.

      They’re also neglecting the fact that so many of us lived through all of the Charles & Diana stuff happening in real time. It’s all just so dumb.

      • Yvette says:

        @Loreiei … If the Royals said nothing mass of people who think every second of “The Crown” is factual will take their silence as confirmation. It’s not the older people like you and me who are forcing Clarence House to close their Social Media. It’s the mass of newbies who were either too young or not born at the time of the original events who are eating it all up in a “It’s on TV so it must be true” kind of way. I think Netflix should have anticipated the public response and put a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode of season 4.

        I honestly believe that Camilla has paid for whatever role she played in the original drama. Now she’s living through a second round of death threats and vicious messages, made worse today with the increased presence of the Internet.

        People are now also bringing up the question of Harry’s parentage again as well. Is that also fair game because Diana really did have a long-term affair with ‘red-head’ James Hewitt? Should Hewitt be hounded again? Should Harry have to endure a new round of demands for him to take a blood test in order to prove his parentage? Charles had to make a public statement when Harry was a pre-teen saying that Harry was his child and there was no need for a blood test.

        This is just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s worth it to hate on Charles and Camilla all over again for something that’s 30-years in the past (going from the mid-1980′s when both the Prince and Princess of Wales began–or began anew–their extramarital affairs).

  16. MF1 says:

    Honestly these kinds of comments are an insult to the British public. Apparently the RF thinks their subjects are too stupid to distinguish fiction from non-fiction.

  17. Case says:

    This is ridiculous. Everyone knows that pieces of art that are “based on a true story” are simply BASED on the story and aren’t always accurate representations of reality. C’mon.

    Does the BRF realize if they paid no mind to a Netflix drama, they’d actually look better than they do right now?

  18. Lorelei says:

    It is incredibly insulting that all of these people don’t trust that the viewers of this show are well aware that they are not watching a documentary. Do they think that, for example, Oliver Stone needs to put warnings before his movies about JFK, etc. so that the viewing public — who they clearly assume to be morons — realize it is a dramatization?

    It’s so condescending! We know The Crown is not accurate down to the letter as Peter Morgan was not in the room taking notes as all of this was taking place. But we do know that many of the main storylines did actually happen because we lived through them ffs.

    All of their protestations only serve to show us just how accurate it was, to get them so worked up over it.

  19. Teresa says:

    I was under the impression this was all hidden cameras and restored footage…

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      The Real Housewives of Highgrove House, with Andy Cohen producing. Cut to the reunion episode where the Queen calls Margaret a “prostitution wh*re” Teresa Giudice style.

  20. emmy says:

    All due respect, she played a 34-year-old two years ago. That’s around my age and she could be my mother. So yeah, no sh*t it’s a drama.

    This is just insulting. They really assume all the peasants and non-”artistes” are unwashed, uneducated morons. Thanks!

  21. Melissa says:

    eh, reminds me of the furor over The DaVinci Code — it’s a fictional book, but there were think pieces, articles, panels and even “documentaries” put out on the History channel to “debunk” a fictional novel.

    and yes, there are people that believe it is factual — I’ve seen more than one reference in a chat group or blog. It just depends on which parts people want to believe.

  22. Islandgirl says:

    They need to be careful. If you keep talking about a disclaimer you might send more people to read up on what actually happened.
    It is far worse than what was in the Crown.

  23. Lemons says:

    It’s pretty easy to understand:

    We know it’s fiction. We like the show. We just don’t like you.

    Leave us in peace and stop badgering us about disclaimers!

  24. Joy says:

    I personally feel like The Crown has humanized them and made it actually LESS bad than it really was. They could have gone for the throat way more than they did.

    • Farfromreality says:

      Yep. To such a degree that when we entered the Charles period I got really turned off (that was the period I followed being young at the time) and could immediately see they were setting us up to feel bad for him and buy idea of Camilla as love of his life.

  25. GuestWho says:

    Isn’t she part of that group of actors/entertainers who are buddies with Charles – Stephen Frye, Emma Thompson, etc.?

  26. Farfromreality says:

    Isn’t Bonham Carter a member of the Churchill family? Aristos gotta protect aristos, although that would be most of the famous British actors (a pet peeve).

  27. Margaret says:

    When I was thinking that this thing couldn’t become more embarassing, Helena decided to speake.

  28. Nic919 says:

    I suspect HBC knows that as part of the British acting establishment she can’t be too radical, not if she wants to be a Dame at some point.

    It’s pretty obvious that the Crown is a drama not a documentary so this is really a lot of fuss about nothing.

  29. WintryMix says:

    I think she wants another one of those fancy brooches from the Queen.

  30. Coco says:

    Wait, you mean that before production Peter Morgan didn’t give every cast member a Ouija board and demand they become possessed with the soul of their character?

  31. L4frimaire says:

    Maybe Helena should stay out of the production decisions of the people who hire her and give her a check. Let’s face it, this is the most serious work she’s done in years after playing cartoonish characters in Tim Burton films and Harry Potter franchise. I forgot what her real face looked like under all that costuming. The initial hype about the Crown was dying down a bit but the Royals, specifically Charles and his minions, keeps fueling the fire, and turning it into a culture war to prop up the elites and privileged. Typical of things over there. Mass deportations, Brexit, Covid and economic fall out, but that all takes a backseat to poor little Prince Charles and Camilla.

  32. Arya says:

    Didn’t she have affairs with multiple married men when she was in her twenties? Of course she would feel attacked by this season of the Crown.

    • Mignionette says:

      I think Chuck has promised her a Damehood.

      The absolute irony of Helena is that she was cast bc she is essentially Margaret. The casting people were so astute in her choice that she didn’t even have to try to understand Margaret.

      I am sure that detail wasn’t wasted on Helena. Also add the fact that she has not been the star attraction in any season (Kirby played the hell out of Margaret), and this is a way to claim the spotlight and a Damehood.

      • ClaireB says:

        I definitely feel like Kirby’s Margaret was more compelling and interesting. HBC’s is just some washed-up lush with an empty life, which might be true of Margaret, but is not that interesting to watch.

  33. TrixC says:

    I mean, I don’t think a disclaimer will help, but there are definitely people who think this show is basically fact. And I can understand why the royal family would be upset about it. I enjoyed the first couple of seasons of this show when it was basically a historical drama but I find I’m not as interested in watching the current season. It seems sort of disrespectful to make a show about someone who died in tragic circumstances and not that long ago. I realise I might be in the minority though!

  34. TyrantDestroyed says:

    The only moral obligation Netflix has is to explain us why the fictional character of Prince Charles has nothing to do with him in real life. The actor that plays him is cute and full of charisma. 😃
    Jokes aside, I find that the “detractors” are doing a huge disservice to make us believe is all a fantasy. It only takes a couple of documentaries to see that reality was way worse. They should keep it quiet and move on.
    And by the way I can’t believe they feel so offended by this season but didn’t even felt bothered by the season where the former King Edward VII and Prince Phillip’s relatives are linked to the Nazis with real photos to prove it.

  35. PS says:

    I don’t understand what’s so hard to get here… yes, it’s a drama, yes, people understand they’re watching a drama. What Helena and others are actually saying is that you should take everything you’re seeing with a grain of salt – including not just some of the conversations/situations illustrated but also the characters’ responses and behavior following those convos/situations.

    I know it sounds simple enough but it’s the subtle assumptions made by viewers that informs – and distorts – the actual reality. And honestly, this isn’t new. I just watched Bombshell and they had a disclaimer at the beginning of the film saying this was all fictional… it’s a real thing and considering how susceptible folks are to everything they hear/read/see around them, its a necessary thing.

  36. Jumpingthesnark says:

    HBC. Showing her ass by kissing Charles’s…..