Joy Behar views The Crown differently from Judi Dench. On The View Oct. 20 episode, she reacted to Dench’s criticism of the fictionalized Netflix series’ “cruelly unjust”Illustration of the British royal family “This dame disagrees with Dame Judi Dench because they tell you at the top that it is not a documentary, and if you have a brain, you can figure out that the writers have used history,” Behar said. “And if it’s documented history, then we can believe it, but we’re not going to believe a conversation that’s going on in the bedroom of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Nobody was there but the two of them, so you don’t believe that part. But the historical part, you believe.”
In response, moderator Whoopi Goldberg said she thought Dench’s statement centered more on plotlines following Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) having an affair that she felt did not occur. “He had several affairs, apparently, but not this one,” Behar replied. Despite her cohost’s comments, Sunny Hostin sided with Dench. “I do think a little disclaimer would be really perfect, thank you. I will say this, one of the pushback that they’re getting is about Lady Diana’s death… they’re not going to show what really happened, but I think we all remember how tragic that was, and history is ugly sometimes, and I don’t think there’s a problem showing it,”Hostin spoke of Elizabeth Debicki’s role in the death of Elizabeth, who was killed in a car accident in 1997. “I think that storyline in particular, that people are saying you can’t show her death is almost bastardizing history. It’s something we should never forget what happened to Princess Diana.”
Dench, Oscar winner, shared a letter The Times UK in which she condemned The Crown as an “inaccurate and hurtful account of history,”I echo the concerns of John Major, former Prime Minister, about an incident in 1991 where then-Prince Charles complained about Major wanting to be crowned. “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,”Dench wrote. “No one is a greater believer in artistic freedom than I, but this cannot go unchallenged.”
Dench continued “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. 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 its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers.”Netflix claims that the two last seasons of The Crown will be available on Netflix. They cover the period from the 1990s through 2003. This does not include Princess Diana’s onscreen death.