When I May Destroy You, written, created by and starring Coel, was released earlier this year on BBC, it was hailed for its courageous and authentic portrayal of sexual assault, with the series and its cast earning widespread critical acclaim.
Following its release, it was revealed that Coel was offered a $1million (£770,000) deal from Netflix to have the show featured on the streaming platform.
The creative decided to turn down the sum, as accepting would have resulted in her forfeiting ownership of the show, which was inspired by personal experience.
During a recent socially-distanced interview for GQ magazine’s GQ Heroes 2020 with television presenter Reggie Yates, Coel explained why she decided to retain ownership of the show when presented with the offer from the streaming giant.
The 33-year-old said that while it’s not that she wouldn’t ever give up her IP (intellectual property) under certain circumstances, ‘this show was so specific and required so much’.
‘I think sharing IP is one thing, but some of our industry is quite exploitative in that it wants all of the IP from the artist and if the artist is generating the idea, I just don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s so dodgy,’ Coel told Yates.
‘It’s like, we will take it, because we’re looking for scraps, anything, because it’s hard. But the ethics of just taking everything,’ she added, questioning the ‘ethics of just taking everything’.
Coel drew comparisons with similar situations in music, when streaming platforms ‘buy all the rights’ from artists when they want to use music for a programme.
‘For artists, especially working class artists, I don’t think one big cheque is helpful,’ the Chewing Gum star stated.
‘I think a steady cheque, like they’re going to be making from your music, is much more helpful. I think it’s not looking for our longevity and it’s dangerous.’
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Credit: Original article published here.