Politics

Michaela Coel ponders why turning down 1,000,000 greenback Netflix deal was the suitable determination

Michaela Coel has said that people thought she was “bothered” when she turned down a million dollar deal from Netflix for her groundbreaking series I May Destroy You, but she wanted to “say no to being exploited.”

The TV star – who created, wrote, starred, and directed several episodes of the exploration of sexual consent – eventually partnered with HBO and the BBC on the series, which won two Baftas.

Talking about the decision to turn down such a large payday because she shouldn’t own the copyright to her work, Michaela told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: People thought I was upset.

“So it was almost like, ‘She’s a crazy woman’ – that’s the other one, she’s either difficult or she’s crazy – to the point where I started thinking I was crazy or unnecessarily paranoid.”

John Phillips via Getty ImagesMichaela Coel at an event in 2019

She continued, “At this stage, it’s hard to tell people, ‘Trust your gut and follow your instincts,’ because it’s not always a very useful phrase, but I did in this situation and I’m very happy I did, because in the end I wasn’t a crazy woman who was wild and upset and out of joint.

“I was right to watch the industry and see that there was a lack of transparency because there was exploitation, and if I didn’t move on, even though I was crazy and paranoid and out of joint, I would not have come to this truth . “.

“And in the end I wouldn’t have said no to being exploited, and I wouldn’t have had the space to agree to employers who don’t exploit me, who were willing to work with me, listen to me and treat me as equals.

“I had to say no to the former to make room for the latter.”

BBC / Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA / Natalie SeeryMichaela Coel as Arabella in I May Destroy You

Michaela agreed that turning down a million dollars was a “cool situation” and added, “It’s a cool situation and it’s even cooler when you realize you don’t need a million dollars.

“At that time I lived with dear Ash, my roommate, in a shared apartment and had enough to eat. I didn’t need a million dollars, which means I can make the decision whether to take this or not.

“What’s behind this million dollars? If you can say no to a million dollars because you realize you have enough even if it’s not a lot, that’s great. “

I May Destroy You is currently in the running for nine awards at this year’s Emmys, with Michaela being one of several British stars to be recognized at the US awards ceremony.

After the success of I May Destroy You, the Chewing Gum star is now preparing for a role in the upcoming sequel to Black Panther.

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