Michaela Coel turned down Netflix $1 million offer of her show, ‘I May Destroy You’ before the show landed on BBC One.
Netflix expressed interest but balked at her request for a percentage of the copyright so she turned down their offer for a $1 million deal.
She recallED approaching senior-level executives at Netflix for 5% ownership of the series. “There was just silence on the phone”.
She hinted that the executive replied, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’.
And she replied: “If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5% of my rights”.
They haggled and agreed for .5% which eventually didn’t come to fruition.
She then stated that her persistence was noticed by a Netflix employee who told her, “‘Michaela? I just want you to know I’m really proud of you. You’re doing the right thing”.
She further said she realised she was not crazy: “I remember thinking, I’ve been going down rabbit holes in my head, like people thinking I’m paranoid, I’m acting sketchy, I’m killing off all my agents,” Coel said. “And then she said those words to me, and I finally realized — I’m not crazy. This is crazy.”
Coel is the show’s creator, writer, director, and lead actress. I May Destroy You, originally titled January 22nd, which is set in London.
The show is plotted around Arabella (Coel), a care-free, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a holiday fling-turned aspirational boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career.
But when she has a drink that is spiked with a date-rape drug and she starts to question and rebuild every element of her life…