Elizabeth Debicki has urged The Crown critics to ‘move on’ after Dame Judi Dench sparked backlash by describing the Netflix show as ‘crude sensationalism‘.
The upcoming fifth season, which premieres on November 9, has been met with intense scrutiny due to the storylines that will play out, including the death of Princess Diana and fictionalised claims that then-Prince Charles tried to enlist Prime Minister Sir John Major to persuade the Queen to abdicate.
Elizabeth – who plays Diana in the upcoming episodes – has responded to the criticisms and insisted while she ‘respects’ people’s opinions, she wants everyone to now focus on the ‘creator endeavour’.
She told the Radio Times: ‘I respect people’s points of view and I, being an actor in the show, understand the nature of what the show is. It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors, and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.
‘Now the disclaimer is up there, we can maybe stop talking about it and move on. If that’s helpful for certain people, so be it, and now the conversation can be returned to the creative endeavour of what the show is.’
As well as Dame Judi’s comments, Sir John describe the show as ‘nonsense’, and a disclaimer was added to promotion material which described the show as a ‘fictional dramatisation’.
On YouTube, the description for a teaser reads: ‘Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign.’
However, Elizabeth has said the ‘beauty’ of the show is that it leaves ‘room for interpretation’, which she thinks is the mark of ‘good drama’.
She added: ‘It’s a tricky thing to speak about because I would like people to watch it and make up their own minds.
‘There’s a huge amount of room for interpretation, and that’s the value and beauty of The Crown as well, that you receive a different message depending on who you are. That’s good drama to me.’
Meanwhile, Sir Jonathan Pryce – who plays Prince Philip in the series – recently said while he understands Sir John’s expressing his ‘disquiet’, he was still saddened by the backlash.
‘I’m hugely disappointed by my fellow artistes,’ he told Deadline. ‘The vast majority of people know it’s a drama. They’ve been watching it for four seasons.’
The Crown season 5 premieres on Netflix on November 9.