In a new open letter, the actress denounced the long-running historical drama detailing the Royal Family as “crude sensationalism,” urging the streaming giant to add disclaimers that it is a “fictionalized drama” before each episode.
"The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism," the Academy Award winner wrote in her piece, which was published in The Times on Wednesday, October 19.
"Given some of the wounding suggestions apparently contained in the new series — that King Charles plotted for his mother to abdicate, for example, or once suggested his mother's parenting was so deficient that she might have deserved a jail sentence — this is both cruelly unjust to the individuals and damaging to the institution they represent," quipped Dench, who was knighted by the royal family in 1988.
Though the actress maintained that "no one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I,” she still stated that the show, “cannot go unchallenged,” encouraging Netflix to rebrand the series with an episodic note to viewers ahead of the show's season four premiere early next month.
“Despite this week stating publicly that The Crown has always been a 'fictionalized drama' the program makers have resisted all calls for them to carry a disclaimer at the start of each episode,” Dench elaborated.
"The time has come for Netflix to reconsider — for the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years, and to preserve their own reputation in the eyes of their British subscribers,” the star concluded.
The Crown is currently filming its fifth and final season, which is expected to hit the streaming platform in 2023.