Gillian Anderson has hit back at the controversy surrounding The Crown’s latest series, saying the show shows “a lot of kindness and restraint” in the way it talks about the royal family.
The Netflix series has come under increasingly harsh criticism for its portrayals of the late Queen’s life, with the controversy only intensifying as the show’s timeline moves closer to modern times. .
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November saw the arrival of the fifth season of The Crown, with Imelda Staunton replacing Olivia Colman in the lead role.
Covering events between 1991 and 1997, the new season included the divorce of Prince Charles and then-Diana – with Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in those roles.
Watch: The Crown’s Fifth Season Trailer
Anderson, who played Margaret Thatcher in the show’s fourth season, told Total Film (via Daily Mail) that she supports the rigorous approach taken by series creator and writer Peter Morgan.
She said: “There are a lot of researchers involved, and a lot of people checking and double-checking and tripling.
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“There’s a lot of things that haven’t been written that could be written about. And if you knew the difference between those, you’d see there’s a lot of kindness and restraint.”
The 54-year-old added that the series is populated by “complex characters drawn with maturity” and that Morgan and his team could have gone much further than they did.
She added: “There’s a lot of stuff in there that needs to be said, ‘If you haven’t, we won’t write about it’.”
Anderson further said The Crown has been a net positive for the Royal Family, who she says are “more loved, celebrated and understood internationally” as a result of the show.
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Perhaps the most high-profile criticism of The Crown ahead of its fifth season came from actor Dame Judi Dench, who penned an open letter in Times expressing concern that the show was seen as an unequivocal truth. .
She wrote, “It is both cruelly unfair to individuals and damaging to the institution they represent. No one believes in artistic freedom more than I do, but that cannot go unchallenged.”
In response to Dench’s criticism, Netflix added a disclaimer to the show’s trailer: “Inspired by true events, this fictionalized dramatization tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political events and who shaped his reign.”
Former Prime Minister John Major, played on the show by Jonny Lee Miller, also slammed some of the more controversial scenes as “a barrel of malicious nonsense”.
Read more: Judi Dench doesn’t want to be called a national treasure
The Crown is set to end with its sixth season, which will debut this year and is set to conclude its depiction of the story in 2002 with the Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Production on the final season was halted following the Queen’s death in September 2022, but resumed shortly thereafter.
Watch: Elizabeth Debicki was a fan of The Crown before she landed the role of Diana