Netflix The Crown portrayed Jacqueline Kennedy as a drug addicted, anorexic idiot who felt completely inferior to Queen Elizabeth. President John F. Kennedy was portrayed as a wife-beating moron who did not know how properly address Royalty and who pumped Jackie full of drugs against her will. The Crown episode “Dear Mrs. Kennedy” is an insult to the memories of Jack & Jackie Kennedy.
Jodi Balfour gives one of the worst Jackie Kennedy impressions of all time. This South African actress somehow makes the elegant Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy sound like she has a thick New York accent. In addition, Jodi Balfour does not look like Jackie Kennedy. The real Mrs. Kennedy was slim and elegant. Jodi Balfour simply looked anorexic; like a bread-stick in an evening gown.
Michael C. Hall as John F. Kennedy was just awful. Michael C. Hall, is best known as the star of Dexter, in which he was perfect. In The Crown, Michael C. Hall kept trying to do what was supposed to be a Boston Accent. It was not. He also had Jack Kennedy being tongue tied and awkward when speaking to the Royal family. The real Jack Kennedy was never awkward. The real Jack Kennedy was at ease addressing people of any station in life. It was one of his greatest strengths.
As bad as the acting was, the plot was worse, and completely false. The Dear Mrs. Kennedy Episode of The Crown takes place just after the Kennedy’s triumphant trip to Paris, during which Jackie Kennedy charmed Charles de Gaulle with her fluent French. In the actual historical event President Kennedy was thrilled with the way all of France fell in love with Jackie Kennedy. Charles de Gaulle was notoriously difficult to negotiate with, and Jackie Kennedy smoothed the way for a successful negotiation between the French and the Americans. Jackie Kennedy was more useful than all the ambassadors and State Department professionals put together.
However, in The Crown, the show has President Kennedy being jealous of Jackie to the point where he physically beats her after the dinner with de Gaulle. It also has Jack Kennedy as a drug addict who gives drugs to Jacqueline to make her perform better at public events.
This is such a twisting of facts that it it obscene. President Kennedy suffered from Addison’s Disease and also had back pain from injuries suffered in World War II. During the War his PT Boat 109 was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. He had to swim miles to shore, dragging a wounded man through the water. This gave him permanent back trouble. Jack Kennedy took doctor prescribed medications for these ailments. He was not a drug addict. He was a war hero. He did have affairs with many women. However, the idea of Jack Kennedy physically attacking Jacqueline is absurd.
The real Jacqueline Kennedy took no drugs and was not a heavy drinker. Jackie Kennedy’s father, the strikingly handsome “Black Jack” Bouvier was an alcoholic, and in fact was so inebriated that he could not attend Jacqueline’s wedding to Jack Kennedy. Because of this, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was very careful her whole life not to follow in her father’s footsteps. She never drank to excess and never got into illegal drugs.
In The Crown, Jackie Kennedy is at a party high on drugs and alcohol and says insulting things about Queen Elizabeth II. Later in the episode, Jackie begs forgiveness of the Queen in a private meeting, basically grovelling and confessing that Jack Kennedy beats her and gives her drugs.
The Crown is generally an excellent show and fun to watch . However, the Dear Mrs. Kennedy episode is such an inaccurate portrayal of Jack & Jackie Kennedy that it makes one question the accuracy of any of the historic figures shown in the series.
Is The Crown just a fictional result of British writer Peter Morgan pretending that The United Kingdom is the center of the universe? Many people today argue that the modern U.K. is a third-rate power and that Queen Elizabeth II is closer to a Disneyland attraction than she is to a World Leader. Her only function is to attract tourists to the U.K., much like the Disney Princesses bringing in the crowds to the theme park. Is the writer Peter Morgan having The Crown change historical events to make it look like Queen Elizabeth II really was a major world leader at one time?
If the writer of The Crown wants to make Queen Elisabeth II seem more interesting and stronger than she really is; that is fine. Just don’t do it by insulting the memory of Jacqueline Kennedy who was one of the strongest women of the century in all the ways that truly matter. She deserves better than that.