The Crown star Josh O’Connor has labelled the culture secretary’s call for a disclaimer to be added to the Netflix show as “outrageous” and “a bit of a low blow”.
The streaming company said it had “no plans, and see no need” to mark it as a work of fiction after Conservative minister Oliver Dowden claimed: “Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that”.
The fourth series of the popular royal drama was released last month and covers the relationship between Prince Charles, who is played by O’Connor, and Princess Diana.
O’Connor told LA Times’ podcast The Envelope: “We were slightly let down by our culture secretary, whose job it is to encourage culture.”
“In my opinion, it’s pretty outrageous that he came out and said what he said. Particularly in this time when he knows that the arts are struggling and they’re on their knees, I think it’s a bit of a low blow.”
The actor added viewers are aware it is a dramatised version of events.
He said: “My personal view is that audiences understand.
“You have to show them the respect and understand that they’re intelligent enough to see it for what it is, which is pure fiction.”
The Crown's creator Peter Morgan previously described the show as "an act of creative imagination".
But actress Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret on the Netflix series, has said the show has a “moral responsibility” to make it clear to audiences it is a drama.
Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, also said he worries viewers “forget that it is fiction”.
The debate now looks set to rumble on as viewers wait to see if Dowden will respond to the latest comments.