'The Crown' Actress Says Adding Disclaimers Would "Patronize" Viewers

The debate rages on.

Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West, Marcia Warren, Elizabeth Debicki, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville and Claudia Harrison attend the World Premiere of Netflix's "The Crown" Season 5 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on November 8, 2022 in London, England.
(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett / Getty)

The Crown's season 5 (out now! I repeat: out now!) has caused an incredible amount of controversy in the past few months before its release, with prominent public figures arguing that it should come with disclaimers that would remind viewers to take the events depicted on the show with a pinch of salt.

But Claudia Harrison, who plays Princess Anne in the new season, has said that adding disclaimers would be patronizing to viewers, and argued fervently against them.

"That debate has been there, understandably, through the context of the time we are living through. And that’s fine. And I think we have moved on, haven’t we, into a more nuanced area where as an actor—I have to talk about it only as that—I think my job is always to respect the intelligence of the audience," Harrison said (via the Guardian).

“To patronize the audiences worldwide, and to think people are genuinely sitting down thinking this is a documentary and that everything they see is fact, I feel uncomfortable with that. Patronize an audience at your peril."

With her view, Harrison joins fellow The Crown actor Josh O'Connor in criticizing the potential use of disclaimers.

At the season premiere in London on Nov. 8, other actors fervently defended the Netflix show.

"I think a lot of people are very sensitive about the show since the Queen died," Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles, told BBC News.

"A lot of people are worried about what will be in it, but I don't think they need to be."

A scene between the actors who play Prince Charles and former Prime Minister John Major stirred up a ton of controversy before the show's release, but the actor who portrays Major doesn't think it's justified. "I think it's been misrepresented in the press and it's a big fuss about nothing," Jonny Lee Miller told BBC News.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.