Will viewers not realise that The Crown is fiction?
The Crown, the Netflix series about the British royal family, has now become a political issue. The UK's Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has called for a warning to appear at the beginning of each episode clarifying that The Crown is fiction. "I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact," he said.
Clarification urgently needed
In Rzeczpospolita, author Mariusz Cieślik shares the concerns of the culture secretary:
“After all, we are living in a time of universal ignorance. A time when people have virtually unlimited access to media but not even the most basic ability to distinguish between truth and lies. And there are countless fake news stories circulating on the Internet that no one, not even journalists, can fact check. ... Images that purport to show reality often seem more real to us than our own experiences. So it's important to ensure that fiction does not pose as facts. I also write this for all those who do not understand that a country's image can be created through pop culture.”
The Windsors and the viewers can take this
The public perception of the royal family was already a mixture of fact and fiction long before the series began to air, Zeit Online explains:
“In their coverage in the media - or in other words a portrayal of reality - the members of the royal family have always come across as if they were fictional. They have always seemed more beautiful, more ugly or more scandalous than everyone else and, above all, than they are reality. In short: they looked larger than life. And that is precisely why their lives have always offered such good material for the tabloid press. ... Buckingham Palace was smart enough to barely comment on all the gossip, or on any episode of The Crown. The Windsors and their subjects have got along quite well with this concoction of real images and wishful thinking for decades.”