Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You has proven to be unafraid and unapologetic in the way it tackles thorny issues, but the series creator and star has admitted that she found one episode particularly "uncomfortable" to write.
Coel – who created, wrote, executive produced, co-directed, and starred in the groundbreaking 12-part series – brought the experience of women to the small screen with unflinching authenticity in I May Destroy You, delivering a nuanced take on everything from consent to cancel culture, race, and queerness.
The drama's episode that focuses on Arabella's relationship with her friends, however, was something that Michaela found especially "hard".
Speaking to TV Guide, Michaela revealed that she wrote the "most drafts" for the series' ninth episode, 'Social Media Is a Great Way to Connect', because she "couldn't figure out how to allow the message of that episode to hit home".
Admitting her own "discomfort" in watching Arabella lash out at her closest friends, Coel explained that she initially considered using other character's to relay the episode's message.
"And then I realised actually Arabella has to realise from her own messing up," she continued. "She has to really see her own capacity to be destructive, as destructive as I could possibly make her. That was hard."
Michaela Coel has owned every minute of I May Destroy You, and recently shared that she even turned down a $1 million offer from Netflix to avoid giving up more than her fair share of copyright.
In a profile with Vulture, Michaela said she originally pitched I May Destroy You, which follows Twitter-famous writer Arabella as she pieces together life after a sexual assault, to Netflix in 2017.
However, when the streaming giant refused to grant her at least 5% of the copyright to the show, Michaela pulled the plug on the discussions, and eventually went on to land a deal with the BBC and HBO.
I May Destroy You is available on BBC iPlayer and airs on HBO in the US.
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