Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Dismisses His Depiction In The Crown Season 5 As 'Complete And Utter Rubbish'

With the recent Queen's passing and Prince Charles becoming King Charles, Netflix series "The Crown" has drawn even more attention than usual as all sorts of royal family drama has come to the surface. With the impending arrival of season 5, the focus seems to have intensified as the brand-new season focuses on the royals' tumultuous 1990s. As in season 4, much of the focus will be on Diana (Elizabeth Debicki), her troubled marriage to Charles (Dominic West), and the prince's extramarital relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles (Olivia Williams).

It's not just the royal family in the ensemble, though. In "The Crown" season 5 the plot will also involve not just one, but two prime ministers. Former PMs Sir Tony Blair (played by Bertie Carvel) and Sir John Major (played by Johnny Lee Miller) are featured in the series in rather underhanded roles. In one scene after Blair is elected as the new prime minister, the series shows Charles trying to recruit him as an ally — particularly to his cause of marrying Camilla against the wishes of the queen. Major is similarly depicted as being embroiled in the royal family's relationship drama.

The former PMs are not happy at all with these scenes, which they say are entirely fabricated. Of the two prime ministers, Blair at least maintained a semblance of restraint with his short and to-the-point response. When contacted for comment on the scenes in "The Crown" season 5, Blair's spokesman told The Telegraph: "It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish."

Given that "The Crown" is a dramatic series, one should always take it with a grain of salt. However, unlike Blair, Major went off!

'Both injurious and untrue'

"The Crown" has bent the truth more than a few times throughout the course of its run. But as season 5 rapidly approaches, the friction between the Netflix series and the people depicted in it has intensified, with Sir John Major penning a letter to let the world know how he feels via The Telegraph:

"Netflix may well take the view that any publicity is good publicity. But I assure them it is not — most especially when it disrespects the memory of those no longer alive, or puts words into the mouths of those still living and in no position to defend themselves. Fiction should not be paraded as fact. 

"I gather Netflix continues to refuse to put out a disclaimer at the top of the opening credits, on the basis that 'everyone knows this is a drama series'. But this is simply not good enough. If everyone knows, why not acknowledge that? Without such action, many millions — around the world — could still be influenced by a damaging and fictional script, which claims 'authority' by being interspersed with historical fact. Entertainment is a great and glorious industry that brings enormous pleasure to many millions. Netflix should not demean it with portrayals which are both injurious and untrue."

The balancing act of historical fiction is difficult, especially while the people represented in the fiction are still alive. But given how much of the drama and portrayal has its roots in reality, in this situation, it is more complicated than not. For his part, "The Crown" showrunner Peter Morgan has said that there are "unavoidable accuracy blips" when converting real life into scripted drama, but insists that he is "absolutely fastidious about there being an underlying truth."

"The Crown" season 5 premieres November 9, 2022, on Netflix.