Netflix has decided to delay the premiere of their documentary series starring Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, until 2023 following recent controversy surrounding The Crown, according to Deadline.
The documentary was informally planned to stream in December after the premiere of The Crown Season 5 on Nov. 9. But negative press around The Crown has altered the streamer’s plans.
Over the weekend, former British Prime Minister John Major slammed the show’s depictions of his time in office as “damaging and malicious fiction.”
Major told the UK 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.”
In response, Netflix said, “Series 5 is a fictional dramatisation, 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.”
Additionally, some UK commentators believe it is wrong to depict the royal family’s actual 1990s problems on screen so soon after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. The show briefly halted production of Season 6 after the Queen’s death.
“They’re rattled at Netflix and they blinked first and decided to postpone the documentary,” a source told Deadline.
Besides the recent controversy over The Crown, there may be other reasons the streamer decided to postpone the documentary.
There have been reports that some statements made by Harry and Meghan in the documentary contradict what the Duke of Sussex wrote in his memoir and they have “made significant requests [to filmmakers] to walk back content they themselves have provided, for their own project,” a source told the told Page Six.
The Sussexes, who have been filming for more than a year, are rumored to have talked extensively about the royal family on camera, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, and reportedly wanted to cut some of it out at this time, per Page Six.