Michaela Coel's impressive series I can destroy you is a must at BBC One and HBO this summer, but did you know it almost landed on Netflix? During a recent interview with vultureCoel said she was in talks to create her impressive $ 1 million streaming service show, but encountered disagreements over the property. Although Netflix was the show's creator, writer, director, and leading actress, she resisted when asked about a percentage of copyright.
"She said: & # 39; That's not how we do it here. Nobody does it, it's not a big deal. & # 39; I said: & # 39; If it's not a big deal, I would really like to have five percent my rights. & # 39; "
I can destroy you is not only thought-provoking, it is personal for Coel. The main character Arabella is drugged and raped after a night out with friends – loosely based on Coel's own experience of sexual assault in 2016. She presented Netflix with the idea for the series in spring 2017 after working with her on the company show chewing gum, as well as Black mirror and Black earth is rising. After rejecting her partial copyright application, she left. She even fired her US agency CAA when she found out that she was pushing her to make a deal for her own money.
She returned to Netflix to ask executives for five percent. "There was only silence on the phone," she said. "And she said: & # 39; That's not how we do it here. Nobody does it, it's not a big deal. & # 39; I said: & # 39; If it's not a big deal, I would really like to have five Percent of my rights. & # 39; "Five percent became two percent, one percent, half a percent. Her persistence was noticed by a Netflix employee who said, "Michaela? I just want you to know that I'm really proud of you. You're doing the right thing."
"I remember thinking I pierced rabbit holes in my head like people think I am paranoid, I am sketchy, I kill all my agents," said Coel. "And then she said those words to me and I finally realized – I'm not crazy. This is crazy."
In the fall she was ready to try her pitch at the BBC (and by default at HBO) and was pleasantly surprised by the result: full creative control, rights to her work, and a title as executive producer. The moral of the story? Know your worth and show your worth. Thanks to Coel's intransigence, fans have the opportunity to watch their show with 12 episodes on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.