Misfits: A manifesto for change in the entertainment industry

Michaela Coel’s first book is a call to arms for those feeling excluded from the creative arts

Michaela Coel, the creator and star of I May Destroy You, was ‘the first black girl in the school’s history to join in the Irish dance team’. Photograph: Wulf Bradley/New York Times

Michaela Coel, the creator and star of I May Destroy You, was ‘the first black girl in the school’s history to join in the Irish dance team’. Photograph: Wulf Bradley/New York Times

After staging her first comedy show during drama school, “I did what I do best,” Michaela Coel writes. “I dropped out”. Coel’s not being self-deprecating. Her first book recounts her ability to tell when institutions aren’t working for her. As a student, she left. This time, as the creator of TV drama series I May Destroy You, she is staying put and demanding the industry change.

The structure of Misfits – a manifesto emerging from a lecture on carving out space in the creative industries – puts me in mind of A Room of One’s Own. Where Virginia Woolf insisted on monolithic female victimhood, Coel is more complex on identity and clearer on the purpose of personal revelation.

The Irish Times
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