Netflix has defended its hit show The Crown as a “fictional dramatization,” after former British Prime Minister John Major slammed its depictions of his time in office as “damaging and malicious fiction.”
Major, who was prime minister from 1990 to 1997, told the U.K. media that a scene that apparently depicts a plot to oust the late Queen was “a barrel-load of malicious nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum – and entirely false – dramatic impact.”
“Sir John has not co-operated–in any way–with The Crown. Nor has he ever been approached by them to fact check any script material in this or any other series,” a spokesperson for Major said of the show in a statement provided to media outlets.
“There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II–nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John),” the spokesperson added, describing the scenes depicted as “fiction, pure and simple.”
In response, a Netflix spokesperson said: “The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events,” per CNN.
“Series 5 is a fictional dramatization, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the royal family–one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers and historians,” the spokesperson said.
This is only the latest controversy for the highly-acclaimed series. Some U.K. commentators believe it is wrong to depict the royal family’s actual 1990s problems on screen so soon after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.