What I am evidence of is: You can dismiss a Black person. If you’re a young Black girl and you get raped, in the film business, no one’s going to fucking care. You can tell whoever the fuck you want, and they’ll call it an affair. Until people start taking this seriously, I can’t fully heal. There are so many problems to feeling disenfranchised. But I keep finding myself alone.
Coel recalls one clarifying moment when she spoke with a senior-level development executive at Netflix and asked if she could retain at least 5 percent of her rights. There was just silence on the phone, she says. “And she said, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’ I said, If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5 percent of my rights.