I don't mind the use of artistic license from time to time, but it really bothers me whenever the truth is sacrificed in favor of a good story. A few years ago, someone wrote a musical that was supposed to be about our city's "rough and rowdy" history. The two main characters were a rogue steamboat captain and the madam of an infamous local bordello. Both of these characters were based on real people, but they weren't exactly the loving couple portrayed in the musical.
When the musical premiered at the local theater, I sat with some older men who knew the real madam and boat captain. They spent the entire time looking at each other and saying things like"Well, THAT never happened." and "I think the real madam would have hit him with a shovel by now." Once it became obvious to the audience that the story was mostly fictional, people started losing interest.