Dame Judi Dench once played a British queen and now she’s talking about Netflix’s popular royal family dramatization.
In a letter to The Times, the revered actress shares her worries about the upcoming new season of “The Crown,” writing that “the closer the drama gets to our times, the more it seems willing to freely blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism.”
“While many will recognize The Crown for the brilliant but fictional account of events that it is, I fear that a significant number of viewers, especially overseas, will consider its version of the story to be entirely true,” Dench writes. “Given some of the seemingly hurtful suggestions in the new series – that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested that his mother’s parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a prison sentence – it is both cruelly unfair to individuals and damaging to the institution they represent.
Season 5 of the series premieres November 9 in the United States and is set in 1990s Britain.
“As Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) approaches the 40th anniversary of her accession, she reflects on a reign that has encompassed nine prime ministers, the rise of mass television and the twilight of the British Empire”, a Netflix synopsis of the new season reads in part. “However, new challenges loom on the horizon. ”
The streaming giant released the Season 5 trailer on Thursday with the following description: “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign. “.
Dench added his concerns to those of former Prime Minister Sir John Major, who recently told the Mail that a scene purporting to show him and then Prince Charles (played by Dominic West) discussing a plot to oust his mother Queen Elizabeth when Major was in office was a “barrel of malevolent nonsense”.
Major called for a boycott of the show and Netflix reportedly defended the show as a “fictional drama”.
“No one believes in artistic freedom more than I do, but that can’t go unchallenged,” Dench wrote. “Despite this week publicly declaring that The Crown has always been a ‘fictional drama,’ the program makers have resisted all calls asking them to carry a disclaimer at the start of every episode.”
“The time has come for Netflix to reconsider – for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a sign of respect for a sovereign who has served her people so diligently for 70 years, and to preserve her reputation in the eyes of her UK subscribers,” added Dench, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Elizabeth I in the 1998 film “Shakespeare in Love.”
CNN has contacted Netflix for comment.