The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has roasted ‘The Crown’ for distorting facts in the season four episode featuring Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s visit to Australia in 1983.
Episode six, named ‘Terra Nullius’, sees the newly wed couple visit Uluru, outback New South Wales and the Sydney Opera House – all made possible by computer graphics.
Scenes of chic rooftop pools in supposed 1980s Brisbane (shot in Spain) left viewers scratching their heads while a recreated ABC interview with former prime minister Bob Hawke has the Aussie broadcaster calling Netflix out.
The episode’s opening scene shows a ‘Four Corners’ interview with Hawke, which Netflix said took place in Canberra on February 26, 1983.
Enter the ABC for a friendly fact check.
“Hey Netflix. Huge fan… We’re in the business of facts and there are a few things we want to clear up,” the ABC wrote across multiple social channels, before saying the Hawke interview was actually filmed on February 12.
“Secondly, the Hawke interview was in Melbourne, not in our Canberra studios as you say in the show.”
Netflix has also been mocked for its er, uninspired, recreation of some of the most iconic Australian scenes (and one famous New Zealand scene) on the six-week Royal tour.
After the backlash on the Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra scenes, ‘The Crown’ explained “Malaga, Spain became Sydney with, of course, VFX of the Opera House” while other scenes were shot at “London’s Australia House.”
While the show has been in the top 10 trending items on Netflix Australia since it dropped earlier this month, multiple royal insiders have expressed concerns about the most recent series of ‘The Crown’, specifically claiming the show should be more explicit about its fictional elements.
Ken Wharfe, the first protection officer for the royals to publish a memoir and a bodyguard of Princess Diana for six years, told Channel 7’s ‘Sunrise’ on Monday he wants viewers to know ‘The Crown’ is not a documentary, “it is a piece of theatre.”
“We saw pictures there of Diana and Charles in Australia on tour, and they (Netflix) looking at the photos and seeing the unhappiness and basically make up what they think happened behind the scenes, and viewers are loving it,” he said.
“How do you think Harry and William are feeling about this?”
Wharfe added this season portrays Prince Charles “unfairly’ and there were “inaccuracies”.
“Even Peter Morgan, the director, has said don’t expect to see all facts in this because we’ve not interviewed people who were there,” Wharfe said.
UK presenter Piers Morgan and Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer have also called out the show for not being clear enough about certain storylines that could be interpreted as factual, despite being invented purely for the show.
Oliver Dowden, the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), told the Mail On Sunday: “[The Crown] is a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
With files from Daniel Welsh, HuffPost UK
All four series of The Crown are now available to watch on Netflix.