Media Fumes at OTT Portrayal of the British Royal Family in HBO Max’s ‘The Prince'
Gary Janetti's long-awaited comic series The Prince premiered on July 29, 2021, on HBO Max.
A biting satire to the British Royal family, the animated show revolves around the third-in-line to the throne, Prince George, and the royals through his perspective.
The show was inspired by Janetti's famous Instagram, where he debuted the titular character and poked jokes regarding the royals.
However, within days of its debut, many people were unsatisfied and even angry with the show's portrayal of the royal family members, including the children. As a result, it gave rise to the Sophie Turner controversy and negative reviews from multiple leading media outlets.
'The Prince' Review
Janetti's comical show hasn't been just about comedy. Ed Power, a film critic for The Telegraph, wrote how the cartoon series breathtakingly missed its mark in making it a satire.
Power stated that the show was Hollywood's insult to the royal family with "ignorance and grossly offensive portrayals."
She stressed it lacked all three vital elements of a satire — smarts, humor, and surprise; elaborating that all the incoming jokes were expected and unoriginal.
All in all, the film critics fumed over bizarre portrayals of the royal family members. Season 1 presented the Royal family as egotistical tea drinkers controlled by the queen, who carried a pistol with her.
Kate Middleton was portrayed to be an alcoholic who couldn't stand Prince William.
Meghan Markle was featured as a desperate actress who couldn't go back into acting. And Harry, voiced by Orlando Bloom, was depicted as an idiot who couldn't work a fridge or distinguish a palace from an apartment.
Harsh Depiction of Prince George
Among all the representations, the one that upset many was the harsh portrayal of eight-year-old Prince George. He was featured as a spoiled brat who tormented his butler, Owen, harbored ill feelings toward his siblings, and obsessed over his Instagram followers count.
His siblings Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, were also subjected to satire.
Women's rights activist Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu shared a piece of her mind on Good Morning Britain on July 31, 2021. She opined how creating a parody of an 8-year-old wasn't funny.
It’s uncalled for, and it goes against our collective sense of responsibility.
The satire on children disappointed many, including fans and followers of Turner, who portrays Charlotte in the series. Just in May 2021, she had spoken against paparazzi attention on her daughter with husband, Joe Jonas.
As Turner voiced Charlotte, promoting the parody on the 6-year-old, she became the center of controversy, even being called a hypocrite. The Game of Thrones star, however, hasn't responded to the criticism.
The Prince indeed failed to impress its viewers with a 41% audience score in Rotten Tomatoes.
In the wake of the negative reviews, the show's creator Janetti defended the show, claiming it was humor born of generosity. He mentioned it was never meant to be rude, but just a representation of George's insane take on the world.