Content Warning: This article about Michaela Coel discusses sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Michaela Coel won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for ‘I May Destroy You’ and she used the opportunity to commemorate victims of sexual abuse.
Coel addressed the audience with a powerful, poignant and succinct speech when accepting her award.
“I dedicate this story,” she told the audience, “to every single survivor of sexual assault.”
She continued, “I just wrote a little something for writers really,” she began. “Write the title that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable. I dare you in a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn fill the need to be constantly visible.”
“For visibility these days seems to equate to success. Do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence.”
The story of ‘I Will Destory You’ is loosely based on Coel’s own life. The show centres on a writer called Arabella Essiedu who struggles with their personal identity after being raped. Coel herself has previously shared that she is a real-life survivor of sexual assault.
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Coel also made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for limited series writing. The award is her first Emmy win.
Coel’s touching speech has been flooded with praise on social media.
“Michaela Coel is art. My stanning knows no bounds,” posted American YouTuber Kid Fury.
Michaela Coel is art. My stanning knows no bounds.
— fury (@KidFury) September 20, 2021
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