princess diana bulimia

Netflix worked with eating disorder charity BEAT to portray Diana’s bulimia sensitively

‘Accurate and non-glamourising portrayals of eating disorders can be a helpful way to educate the public’

TW: Mention of eating disorders

Eating disorder charity BEAT revealed they worked with Netflix on the portrayal of Princess Diana’s experience of bulimia in the fourth season of The Crown.

The latest season of The Crown dropped on Netflix over the weekend and featured Princess Diana for the first time. As well as the depiction of her marriage to Prince Charles, The Crown also touches on her struggle with bulimia.

Though they were not on set, the charity advised Netflix on to how portray eating disorders sensitively.

The Head of Communications for BEAT Rebecca Willgress told The Tab: “We were consulted by Netflix and Left Bank Pictures during the production of The Crown Season 4.

“We were not involved on set, but advised on how to portray eating disorders sensitively, including signposting to appropriate sources of help and providing trigger warnings where needed.”

Netflix provided trigger warnings at the beginning of episodes which featured Diana’s binge eating and bulimia.

However many viewers of The Crown complained about the graphic detail of certain scenes. One Twitter user said the bulimia scenes were not “easy viewing” and another called them “really rough”.

Rebecca Willgress said depicting eating disorders accurately is a great tool for educating the public about the reality of eating disorders.

She said: “Eating disorders are often misunderstood mental illnesses and thrive on secrecy.

“We believe that accurate and non-glamourising portrayals of eating disorders in the media can be a helpful way to educate the wider public about the reality of them, as well as encourage anyone affected to seek help.”

Emma Corrin, who plays Diana in season four of The Crown, said she wanted to portray Diana’s experience of bulimia honestly. She said it would be a disservice to anyone who had been through the experience to not portray it as such.

In an interview Emma said: “I felt that if we were trying to depict bulimia in an honest way, we had to show it.

“Otherwise it’s a disservice to anyone who has been through that. Diana was very candid about her experience, I so admire that.”

BEAT suggested to anyone who is currently unwell to not watch the programme. However if you do choose to watch it then make sure to have a support network around you.

Rebecca Willgress said: “As with every depiction of eating disorders, caution must be taken and we wouldn’t advise anyone currently unwell to watch this or any other programme which centres around eating disorders.

“If someone unwell does choose to watch it, we strongly advise having a support network or source of help such as Beat to turn to if needed.”

To contact Beat, you can call the charity’s helpline on 0808 801 0677, the studentline on 0808 801 0811 and the youthline on 0808 801 0711. You can also contact the charity via its one-to-one web chat here.

Featured image credit: Netflix

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