Jemima Khan, a British TV producer and close friend of Princess Diana has stepped down as a consultant on “The Crown” because she believes the Netflix show is not treating Diana’s final years “respectfully or compassionately.”
Khan told The Sunday Times that she was hired by Peter Morgan, the show’s creator and lead writer, to help write scripts for the show’s upcoming fifth season, which will depict Princess Diana’s final years, including her relationships with Hasnat Khan, Dodi Fayed, and the bombshell BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in which Diana said her marriage was “a bit crowded” in reference to Camilla Parker Bowles.
“From September 2020 to February 2021, we collaborated on the outline and texts,” Khan told the outlet. Khan, on the other hand, indicated that when she learned the show’s creative direction, she asked for all of her contributions to be removed.
“When our co-writing agreement was broken, and I understood that the specific plot would not be handled as politely or compassionately as I had anticipated,” she explained, “I requested that all of my contributions be removed from the series, and I was denied a credit.”
Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, said she accepted Morgan’s invitation despite never publicly discussing her friendship with Diana because she believed it was important “that the final years of my friend’s life be portrayed accurately and with compassion, as has not always happened in the past.”
This isn’t the first time Netflix and Morgan have been chastised for portraying the British royal family in a negative light. Oliver Dowden, the former British culture secretary, highlighted plans last year that would have required Netflix to include a notice before each episode of “The Crown” stating that it is a work of fiction.
“Without this, I’m afraid that a generation of viewers who didn’t witness these events will confuse fiction with fact,” Dowden told the Daily Mail.
A Netflix official reacted to Khan’s assertions in a statement to The Sunday Times. The following was part of the statement: “Since season one, Jemima Khan has been a friend, admirer, and outspoken supporter of ‘The Crown.’ She’s one of a large network of knowledgeable and diverse individuals who have supplied important background information to our writers and research team, setting the stage for The Crown’s drama. She’s never been hired as a writer for the show.”
The Crown’s next season will premiere on Netflix in November 2022. Diana will be played by Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who is best known for her roles in blockbusters such as Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and Steve McQueen’s “Widows.