Last Thursday, the same day that a head of lettuce outlasted Britain’s prime minister Liz Truss, Netflix released their full-length trailer for The Crown. After months of sniping and crying from Buckingham Palace, the trailer was full of all of the royal drama we’ve been waiting for – Diana and Charles’s separation, the fire at Windsor Castle, the royalshambles that was the House of Windsor in the ‘90s. What was also fascinating about the trailer was that there was no disclaimer or note about “this is a dramatization” or “some elements are fictionalized.” The day after the trailer was released, Netflix added the disclaimer… but only to the YouTube description, not within the actual trailer. LMAO.
Netflix has added a disclaimer to the description for its latest The Crown trailer following a difficult couple of weeks for the royal series.
In the YouTube description below the video for the fifth season trailer, Netflix states: “inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign” .
None of the previous trailers included this disclaimer, instead going straight into a description of the season.
The move comes after two years of lobbying from certain circles including former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who said in late 2020 that a “health warning” should be played before episodes so viewers know the series is a work of fiction. That “health warning” still doesn’t appear in the current trailer, however, only in the YouTube description. Netflix already uses the “fictionalised” line in press materials, on social media and on The Crown’s Netflix landing page.
Come on, Netflix knows exactly what they’re doing. They’re “giving” one version of what Buckingham Palace says they want, and by doing it after the trailer dropped, Netflix is extending the story and the beef. “Oh, you said you wanted a disclaimer, well here’s one in the YouTube description, what? Is that not good enough?” They’re poking the bear, only in this case, the “bear” is a new king who believes the best use of his power and authority is masterminding an unhinged campaign against a corporation. It’s going to get so much worse for King Charles III as well – once the Crown comes out and people begin talking about the storylines, my guess is that Charles will be dumb enough to send out people to try to “fact check” the series in nitpicky ways. Netflix will do the same thing they did two years ago: drop receipts. So will other people. There will be hundreds of stories about “did this really happen, well not exactly like that, but here’s what really happened and here’s what Charles said at the time.”
This is also a pretty significant point too – it’s not that the Palace has an issue with only The Crown, they simply don’t want to cooperate with any historian or historical documentary. It is, as always, about control. The Palace wants to be solely in control of their history, their message and what’s said, dramatized and written about their family.
I have a letter in The Times this morning about an old hobby horse of mine (by which I mean archives rather than The Crown). pic.twitter.com/ArKiNbtopH
— Philip Murphy (@philipvmurphy) October 21, 2022
Photos and posters courtesy of Netflix/The Crown.