Gillian Anderson rejects calls for a historical disclaimer on The Crown

The British actress said it's 'obvious' that The Crown isn't fully accurate.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01: Gillian Anderson attends a luncheon hosted by Roland Mouret in celebration of Women Filmmakers at the Corinthia Hotel London on May 1, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
(Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Gillian Anderson has dismissed arguments for The Crown to carry a disclaimer after critics suggested the royal drama might mislead its audience. 

The British actress, who stars as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the hit Netflix series, argued that viewers shouldn't need to be assured that it is fiction. 

"It's so obvious that we're doing a TV show and that these are characters based on real-life people," Gillian said in a recent interview with InStyle. "To me, it just felt like drama for the sake of drama. But I get that there are a lot of people invested." 

The historical drama series, which launched in 2016, explores the British monarchy's insular world under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, weaving real events with threads of fantasy. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden expressed concerns that The Crown could be misinterpreted as factual in November. The British MP announced his intentions to write to Netflix, to ask them to ensure its audience was aware of the show's historical inaccuracies. 

"I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” he said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. 

Despite Mr. Dowden’s requests, Netflix 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 streaming service said in a statement. 

Members of the Royal Family have also voiced their grievances with the series. Lady Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, criticized its storylines for blurring the line between fact and fiction. 

"It is very hard, there is a lot of conjecture and a lot of invention, isn’t there?” he said.  “You can hang it on fact but the bits in between are not fact.” 

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However, Gillian isn’t sure why the Royal Family is upset by the series. The BAFTA-nominated actress, who previously dated The Crown’s showrunner Peter Morgan, believes that the show’s portrayal of the British monarchy was gentler than it needed to be. 

“Yes, there's a lot of stuff that could have been written about, but was not, that is so much worse than what ended up in the show. There has been kindness extended in certain areas where it didn't have to be,” she revealed. 

All four seasons of the show are currently available on Netflix. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.