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Emmys 2021: Michaela Coel's Powerful Speech Leaves People In Tears

Gregory Robinson

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Emmys 2021: Michaela Coel's Powerful Speech Leaves People In Tears

Featured Image Credit: CBS/Paramount+

Michaela Coel dedicated her Emmy Award for best writing to survivors of sexual assault during her acceptance speech for I May Destroy You.

The BBC/HBO limited series I May Destroy You was written by Coel and she starred as aspiring writer Arabella and follows the fallout of her realising her drink was spiked and she was assaulted.

During her powerful speech, Michaela urged writers to take chances with their work and to create stories that make them feel uncomfortable.

Watch the clip below:


“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable,” she said.

The 33-year-old actor and writer added: “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 feel the need to be constantly visible, for 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.”

The speech left viewers in tears, with many people expressing gratitude to Coel for sharing such a raw story.

One viewer tweeted: "Michaela Coel's beautifully moving acceptance speech @MichaelaCoel you just made me cry. Your show spoke to me so deeply."

Another viewer said the speech made them feel 'emotional', writing: "MICHAELA COEL!!!!!!!!!!!! I gave her a standing ovation in my living room! and that acceptance speech and her dedicating it to survivors of sexual assault got me so emotional! I love you Michaela!"

Michaela Coel starred as Arabella in I May Destroy You (Credit: BBC)
Michaela Coel starred as Arabella in I May Destroy You (Credit: BBC)

And a third fan shared: "well, michaela coel’s win/speech have me fully in tears. man oh man she deserves the whole entire Goddamn world #Emmys.

I May Destroy You has been praised by both critics and viewers for its heartbreaking realism.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival back in 2018, Coel said that she was raped when she was writing Season 2 of Chewing Gum, and - like her character - she didn't even realise at first.

"I was working overnight in the [production] company's offices; I had an episode due at 7 a.m. I took a break and had a drink with a good friend who was nearby," she said.

(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)
(Credit: Twitter)

The next thing she knew, she was back at the desk typing again.

"I had a flashback. It turned out I'd been sexually assaulted by strangers. The first people I called after the police, before my own family, were the producers," she went on.

If you have been affected by the content in this article, please visit: rapecrisis.org.uk or thesurvivorstrust.org.

Topics: TV And Film, BBC, HBO

Gregory Robinson
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