Despite the Sunday evening’s Emmys lacking color with literally no Black/PoC performers awarded for their work — there was a silver lining in the fact that Michaela Coel won her first Emmy. She became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
Coel told creators in her acceptance speech (undoubtedly the best of the night), “write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable.”
“I dare you,” she added. “Visibility these days seems to somehow 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. I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.”
The critically-acclaimed I May Destroy You was described by the HBO as “a fearless, frank and provocative half-hour series exploring the question of sexual consent and where, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, the distinction between liberation and exploitation lies. Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centers on Arabella (Coel), a carefree, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a boyfriend in Italy, and a burgeoning writing career. But when her drink is spiked with a date-rape drug, she must question and rebuild every element of her life.”
The series also starred Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu, Aml Ameen, Adam James, Sarah Niles and Ann Akin. Coel herself will play Arabella Essiedu, described as “a self-assured, care-free Londoner with a group of great friends, a holiday fling turned aspirational boyfriend in Italy and a burgeoning writing career. When she becomes the victim of having been given a date-rape drug, her entire world and identity are thrown upside down.”