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Michaela Coel Walked Away From a $1 Million Deal with Netflix

Michaela Coel, the star of HBO’s hit series I May Destroy You had to decline Netflix’s $1 million offer after the streaming giant refused to allow her to retain “at least 5 percent of her rights” for the show.

Coel’s success in the U.S. is largely credited to Netflix. The streamer was the U.S. distributor of Coel’s acclaimed comedy series Chewing Gum. Netflix also housed a feature musical titled Been So Long in which Coel was the lead, as well as the drama series Black Earth Rising. Coel also starred in an Emmy-winning episode of Black Mirror, also distributed by Netflix. Coel’s history with the streaming platform, naturally, made it the premier destination for her new project. Bute, after a short negotiation with a Netflix executive, Coel had to find a different home for I May Destroy You in order to maintain ownership of the series. It eventually landed on HBO.

According to Vulture, Coel recalled that Netflix made her a $1 million offer for I May Destroy You in spring 2017 but she turned it down. Why? The streamer wouldn’t allow her to retain any percentage of the copyright. Coel even discontinued her relationship with CAA after it “tried to push her to take the deal”.

I May Destroy You is based on Coel’s personal experience of being sexually assaulted during the making of Chewing Gum. At the age of 32, Coel is in full creative control of the series as its showrunner, director, star, and writer. She wrote all 12 episodes and co-directed nine, stars as a young writer Arabella struggling to come to terms and process a recent assault.

The series is now streaming on HBO.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. For The People

    July 9, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Netflix been showed their butts to us long before this so called negotiation. You can add CAA to the mix too! All Netflix does is good for symbolism. They are good at giving you the illusion they are for the people, black people but when it comes to pay is a different story. Monique tried to enlighten us but nope no one would not listen but all of sudden everyone want to support Viola and her outcry but I digress. I would never pay for Netflix.

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Film & Television

First look at the Mahalia Jackson biopic starring Danielle Brooks

Mahalia Jackson is known as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time. On Feb. 3, Lifetime will premiere her story on the small screen in Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia.

Produced by Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (American Son), the film stars Grammy-Award winning actress Danielle Brooks portraying the legendary gospel singer focusing on her civil rights activism. 

The Mahalia Jackson story arrives Feb. 3. Watch the trailer below.

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Film & Television

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’: Sneak Peek

The release of highly anticipated Space Jam sequel is nearing, and today, fans got a tiny peek at what is coming thanks to HBO’s newly released promo video that included this short visual of Lebron James and Bugs Bunny.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled for a July release.

Starring in the live-action/animated sports comedy, alongside James are Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green. Returning are the Looney Tunes characters – Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, and Daffy Duck. Basketball stars including Anthony DavisChris PaulDamian Lillard, Diana Taurasi, Cheney Ogwumike, and Nneka Ogwumike are also featured in the movie.

 Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, The Best Man) is directing. Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler is producing.

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Film & Television

‘One Night In Miami’: Regina King on her decision to cast non-U.S. actors to portray American characters

While speaking at a BAFTA Masterclass in London on Tuesday (Jan 12), in reference to British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir portraying Malcolm X and Canadian actor Eli Goree playing a young Muhammad Ali, director Regina King said: “If I was moved by a performance, I really don’t care where a person’s from.” She also stated, “As an audience member, to me they truly understood what they were doing, what they were embodying. After Kingsley’s first audition, I wanted to give him some notes. I wanted to just talk to him and get to know him and get to know what his relationship was to Malcolm. He said all the things that I needed to hear him say and I think it’s unfortunate that this is where we are.”

She continued, “One of the things that I’ve truly understood or discovered throughout this process of One Night in Miami, is that upon first receiving this and reading it, I thought, ‘Wow, Kemp, this is just a love letter to the black man’s experience in America.’ But then taking that step back and really taking in marginalized people across the world. There are feelings and experiences that black people in the UK, in Brazil feel that are the same as in America. While the history of how a country came to be may be different, the marginalization of a black man is the same, colorism is the same in all of those places.

“Kingsley was the best actor for that role and Eli was the best actor for that role. Sure, neither one of them are American. But can they relate to the experience and the pain felt by a black person for being disregarded just because of the color of your skin? Absolutely, they can. Can they take it upon themselves to make sure they educate themselves on the ways it’s specific to America in the history of how black Americans had built this country, it was built on the bodies of Black Americans? They can definitely educate themselves on that and they did. I wouldn’t change my choices for anyone.”

The debate about British actors being chosen over American talent has intensified in recent years with actors David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo and Daniel Kaluuya portraying civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman and Fred Hampton, respectively. Some argue that non-American actors should not get these roles. Others find no issue in it whatsoever. What side of the argument are you on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

King’s directorial debut, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year, will launch on Amazon Prime January 15.

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