'Scraping the barrel!' Netflix slammed over 'extremely controversial' The Crown decision

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Netflix has been warned the backlash against The Crown is likely to “intensify” following fury over the royal drama recreating Princess Diana’s final hours. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said the portrayal of events surrounding Diana’s death was “always going to be extremely controversial”.

It comes as the fifth series of the hit show is out next month, while filming for the sixth season is underway.

Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “The makers of The Crown always knew they were straying into highly sensitive areas when they extended it to first five and then six series which covered the 1990s.

“Obviously the depiction of the duplicitously obtained Panorama interview, the car crash in which Diana so tragically died and her subsequent funeral was always going to be extremely controversial.

“It will indeed bring back traumatic memories for William and Harry. Since the fifth series has yet to air we have no idea how Harry will respond.

“Netflix have, in trespassing in territory which was always going to be hypersensitive and refusing so far to include a disclaimer before each episode although the marketing now contains one, created a rod for their own back.

“If you seek sensation you sometimes get more than you bargained for, as the backlash against the series is proving. It is likely to intensify.”

Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, founder of the British Monarchists Society, added that Netflix is “truly scraping the bottom of the barrel” with the royal drama.

He said: “There is only the view as to how much royal storylines can sell despite the harm brought to the living subjects being portrayed.”

Referring to the late Queen, he continued: “We have just lost the pride and joy of this nation last month, and together with bringing up the death of Diana again for ‘entertainment’ purposes, this is not what the nation wants or needs, hence the backlash.”

It comes after actress Elizabeth Debicki was spotted over the weekend filming scenes for the sixth season in a grey suit identical to the one Diana wore on the day of her death in a Paris car crash in 1997.

However, Netflix has said the “exact moment of the crash impact will not be shown”.

The royal drama has also been spotted recreating Diana’s funeral for the sixth series, while her 1995 Panorama interview will feature in the fifth season.

The streaming giant has faced criticism ahead of the launch of the latest series of The Crown on November 9.

Diana’s close friend Simone Simmons hit out at Netflix for portraying her final hours, telling The Sun: “These are cruel, sadistic and wicked people to recreate these moments. They are the lowest of the low.”

Meanwhile, legendary actress Dame Judi Dench last week accused the hit royal drama of “crude sensationalism”.

And former prime minister Sir John Major branded the show “damaging and malicious fiction” and “a barrel-load of nonsense”.

The fifth series, which will focus on the breakdown of Charles’s marriage to Diana, comes just months after the late Queen’s death as the King starts his reign.

The Crown was due to end after the fifth series, but the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan later said it will be extended to include one more season.

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