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The Crown's Helena Bonham Carter: Series Has 'Moral Responsibility' to Label Itself as Dramatization

The Crown Helena Bonham Carter

Netflix’s The Crown has once again made headlines for taking creative license with real-life royalty — and Helena Bonham Carter thinks the show ought to clear up this fresh wave of confusion.

On Monday’s episode of The Crown: The Official Podcast, Carter — who plays Princess Margaret in Seasons 3 and 4 — discussed the period drama’s tendency to fictionalize certain events. Though Carter’s episode of the podcast was recorded in March, well ahead of Season 4’s release, the new episodes have sparked debate, particularly for their dramatization of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship, as portrayed by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin.

“It is dramatized,” Carter said, adding her support for a disclaimer that reminds viewers of the show’s fictionalization. “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.”

Carter went on to say The Crown‘s “proper documentary” is the royal family research that series creator Peter Morgan conducts before a new season: “That is amazing, and then Peter switches things up and juggles,” she added.

Earlier this month, British politician Oliver Dowden, who serves as the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, urged Netflix to put a disclaimer before episodes of The Crown, expressing his concern that viewers might take the show’s version of events as gospel.

“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. “Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.” (Dowden also stated his intent to write Netflix personally about his concerns.)

UPDATE: In a statement to our sister site Variety, a Netflix spokesperson said the streaming service has no plans to add a disclaimer to The Crown. “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 statement reads. “As a result we have no plans — and see no need — to add a disclaimer.”