I wish we had all of these covers to share with you, but good news: GQ UK culled all its Men of the Year content onto one page, so you can have a squizz at the covers and click into whichever profiles interest you. Personally, I needed a Piers Morgan like I need to eat my Christmas garland, but luckily there is PLENTY else of interest. Like Michaela Coel’s, which reveals that she wrote 191 drafts of the critically adored I May Destroy You — my burgeoning carpal tunnel just tingled — and then of course there’s this:
When she began studying at Guildhall School Of Music & Drama, Coel became the first black woman to be enrolled in five years. When she rose to fame with her Bafta-winning comedy Chewing Gum, behind the scenes she was fighting against the unfair treatment of herself and her black castmates. When she was invited to deliver the prestigious MacTaggart Lecture in 2018, she took the opportunity to call out the industry’s mistreatment of people of colour and detail her sexual assault for the first time. Coel hasn’t just paved the way to her own success, she’s been laying down the groundwork for other people of colour to rise up too by, as she puts it, “rattling the applecart”.
And, in 2020, the cart has truly been rattled, rotten fruit strewn across the floor, the industry’s bias and exploitation laid bare to see. One of the biggest revelations that has come to light since I May Destroy You’s release is the fact that Coel turned down a $1 million deal with Netflix because it wouldn’t allow her to retain any of the rights for the show – not even five per cent. It was brave of her to both say no and then talk about it, but it also taught many onlookers that it’s important to know their worth.