Netflix’s The Crown sparked controversy with former PM John Major

    Netflix's The Crown faced backlash from ex-Prime Minister John Major for its portrayal of his tenure, with the streaming giant defending its fictional dramatization.

    Cast of The Crown (Source: People)

    Cast of The Crown (Source: People)

    In October 2022, Netflix's acclaimed series The Crown found itself at the centre of controversy for its depiction of former British Prime Minister John Major. As we look back, the tensions between historical accuracy and creative license in the show have been a recurring theme. Major, Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, vocally denounced the show's portrayal of his time in office as "damaging and malicious fiction" and a "barrel-load of nonsense." The series, known for dramatizing royal history, included plotlines hinting at discussions between Major and then Prince of Wales, Charles III, about the Queen's abdication – a claim Major fervently denied. “There was never any discussion...about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II – nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised,” Major's spokesman stated.

    Netflix's Defense of Creative Storytelling

    In response to the backlash, Netflix stood by its series as a work of fiction. A spokesperson for the streaming giant clarified, "The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events. Series 5 is a fictional dramatization, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors." This statement underlines the show's approach to blending historical facts with imagined scenarios, a method that has garnered both critical acclaim and controversy.

    John Major in real and in The Crown (Source: The Independent)

    The crown: A balancing act between fact and fiction

    As The Crown approaches its end, the second part of the sixth season set to air on December 14 2023, the debate over its portrayal of real-life figures continues. The show has been a critical darling, sweeping the drama categories at the previous year's Emmy awards, yet it frequently navigates the delicate line between historical representation and artistic interpretation. John Major's vehement disapproval of his depicted conversations and attitudes towards the monarchy in the series highlights the complexities of dramatizing recent history. Netflix's defense emphasizes the series as a creative exploration of possible behind-the-scenes dynamics within the royal family.

    Looking back, The Crowns' journey reflects the ongoing conversation about the responsibilities of historical dramas. Its portrayal of events and figures like John Major serves as a reminder of the power of television to shape public perceptions of history, blurring the lines between recorded facts and imagined narratives.

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)