Michaela Coel rejected Netflix deal that “exploited” her

"I was right to observe there was a lack of transparency because there was an exploitation occurring"

Michaela Coel has said she rejected a $1million deal with Netflix because it “exploited” her.

The actor had previously said that she was offered the large sum from the streaming giant for I May Destroy You, which ended up airing on the BBC, and has now shared more details.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour today (September 7), host Emma Barnett asked Coel: “You did turn down a million dollars from Netflix for I May Destroy You because you weren’t allowed to own the copyright and you kept asking questions…do you think you were judged because you were a woman?”


“I don’t remember feeling like people found me difficult, I remember feeling like people found me disturbed,” Coel replied. “It was like, ‘She’s a crazy woman…,’ to the point that I started to think I was crazy or unnecessarily paranoid.

“It’s hard to say to people trust your gut or instinct…but that’s what I did in that situation, I’m glad I did because in the end I wasn’t a crazy woman who was acting wild and disturbed and unhinged, I was right to observe the industry and observe there was a lack of transparency because there was an exploitation occurring.”

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Michaela Coel in ‘I May Destroy You’ CREDIT: Natalie Seery

She added: “If I didn’t press on…I wouldn’t have got to that truth and I wouldn’t have ended up saying no to being exploited and having the space to say yes to employers who were not exploiting me, who were willing to collaborate with me and listen to me and treat me as an equal.”

Earlier this year, Coel confirmed there would not be a follow-up season to I May Destroy You.

“Definitely, there won’t be a second season of I May Destroy You,” Coel told Digital Spy at a press conference following her BAFTA win for Best Actress in June.


“I think I May Destroy You has been so huge it’s destroyed itself, but you know, we continue making work and we do other things.”