Netflix has defended hit show “The Crown” as a “fictional dramatization” after former British Prime Minister John Major denounced his descriptions of his time in office as “harmful and malicious fiction” and a “barrel of nonsense”.
Major, who was prime minister from 1990 to 1997, responded to rumors in the UK media that a new season plot saw King Charles III – later Prince of Wales – seeking Major’s help in his mother’s abdication.
Another subplot involves the Major – played by Jonny Lee Miller – and his wife, Norma, disparaging conversations about the Queen and the royal family.
In a statement on behalf of the former prime minister sent to CNN on Monday, he described the scenes as “a barrel load of nonsense sold for the highest dramatic impact and for no reason other than to provide a completely false one”.
“Sir John has not collaborated in any way with The Crown. They have never been approached by them to verify script material for this or any other series,” a Major spokesperson said in a statement.
“Discussions between the monarch and the prime minister are completely private and – for Sir John – always will be. But none of the scenes you depict are accurate in any way. They are fiction, pure and simple,” the spokesman said.
“There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about the possible abdication of Queen Elizabeth II, nor did the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John) raise such an inappropriate subject,” he added.
“Neither Sir John nor Dame Norma have remotely discussed the Monarchy in the terms you suggest in your email,” the spokesman said, adding: “What you portray in the script has never been their view, would not be their view, and never has been their view. have a view.”
The final season of “The Crown” is on its way to air on Netflix on November 9, with Imelda Staunton taking over the role of Olivia Colman, the queen she portrayed in seasons 3 and 4.
According to Netflix’s description, Season 5 revolves around the Queen “approaching the 40th anniversary of her accession.”
Netflix responded to the outrage on Monday, with a spokesperson saying in a statement: “The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events.”
“Series 5 is a fictional dramatization that imagines what might have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family, which has already been analyzed and documented by journalists, biographers and historians,” the spokesperson added.
The show, created by Peter Morgan, swept the drama categories at last year’s Emmy Awards, winning the night’s top prize, the award for outstanding drama series.