The Crown’s Josh O’Connor suggests calls for the show to have a disclaimer are “outrageous”

The actor believes viewers already know the show is “pure fiction”

Actor Josh O'Connor attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium
(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Whilst The Crown might have always had a few people questioning what is fact and what is fiction, the latest season has certainly got everyone talking. 

With The Crown Season 4 focusing closer to home than ever before with its depiction of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage, it’s perhaps no surprise that this is the case. 

The late Princess of Wales’ brother Earl Spencer, along with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and even The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter has now called for action. They have suggested that the hit Netflix drama should carry a “warning” or “disclaimer” reminding viewers of the show’s fictional nature.

But now it seems not everyone is as keen on the show carrying a warning after all. 

How has The Crown’s Josh O’Connor reacted to calls for a disclaimer?

Josh O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles in The Crown, has now supposedly spoken out against the idea of adding a disclaimer. In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times for The Envelope: The Podcast, O’Connor reportedly revealed his belief that Culture Secretary Mr Dowden’s intervention on the issue is “outrageous”.

The actor admitted that the show was “pure fiction”, however he suggested that viewers knew that already.

O’Connor explained: “You have to show them the respect and understand that they’re intelligent enough to see it for what it is”.

How have The Crown’s Josh O’Connor’s comments been received?

Following Josh O’Connor’s statements, some MPs have themselves spoken out - this time in support of the Culture Secretary’s stance. 

According to the Mail on Sunday, Former Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Mr O’Connor says Oliver Dowden’s intervention is outrageous, but what would be truly outrageous would be trying to stop our Culture Secretary holding the streaming giant to account.”

He supposedly added that: “Oliver has every right to call for the series to carry a disclaimer."

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in The Crown

(Image credit: Des Willie/Netflix)

The Daily Mail has also suggested that Mr Hinds is supported in his statement by former actor Giles Watling and Julian Knight, chairman of the powerful Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Why have people been calling for The Crown to have a disclaimer?

Calls for a disclaimer to be added have come after concerns were raised about viewers mistaking The Crown's portrayal of events as fact. Earl Spencer has previously spoken of his worry that people will forget the show is fiction.  

The Clarence House official Twitter account recently turned off comments after Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall became the target of online trolls who reportedly believed The Crown’s depiction of an affair between herself and Prince Charles was real.

Whether or not Netflix’s The Crown will soon carry a fiction disclaimer before each episode remains to be seen. However it seems that the debate about whether or not the show should start to do so looks set to continue. 

The Crown Season 4 is available to watch now on Netflix. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!