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Black Mirror Joan Is Awful true story

Black Mirror’s Joan Is Awful was inspired by a real life scandal and I am shook

My head is spinning


Black Mirror season six is officially on Netflix and of course it has been messing with everyone’s minds, especially in the very first episode, Joan is Awful.

The episode follows Joan, played by Annie Murphy, who soon realises her life becomes a television adaptation starring Salma Hayek as her. As Joan tries to put an end to her darkest secrets being revealed to the world, there are of course a number of obstacles thrown her way.

Joan Is Awful is incredibly baffling and seems all a bit too wild to be true. However, the show’s creator Charlie Brooker has revealed Black Mirror episode Joan Is Awful was inspired by a true story.

via Netflix

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker took inspiration for Joan Is Awful from the true story of Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted on four counts of wire fraud and conspiracy and was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

“I was watching The Dropout, which is the dramatisation of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos story, with my wife and we were sort of commenting on like, ‘This feels like it happened yesterday, and here it is already a drama on TV,” Charlie Brooker told Metro.

It’s clear Brooker knows what he’s talking about as Elizabeth Holmes was first indicted on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June 2018. And then The Dropout was first announced in 2019.

He continued: “Joan Is Awful this season; I had half an idea which was, is there a story about… the title for some reason stuck in my head. And I was thinking, ‘Is there a story about an average woman who finds herself on the front page of the newspaper?’

“She’s the lead item on the news – not because she’s involved in a terrible scandal, or she’s done something heroic, but just she’s like, [the] main character of the day, her co-workers don’t like the way she chews her food or something minor like that. I was like, I don’t know what the story is, but it’s a funny situation.”

Brooker revealed he also had the idea to do an episode with “deep fake AI generated imagery being streamed by a news network”, and so put the ideas together.

He told Metro the two “half ideas” were then “sucked up into this one”. And voila! Joan Is Awful was born.

Black Mirror season six is now available on Netflix. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Still baffled? Here’s the ending of Joan Is Awful explained in the most simple way possible