After being controversially snubbed by the Golden Globes, HBO’s limited series “I May Destroy You” received some measure of justice when it received six Primetime Emmy nominations.
And on Sunday night, Michaela Coel – her creator, screenwriter, co-director and star – won her first-ever Emmy Award, for writing limited series. It also made her the first black woman win in this category.
In his acceptance speech, Coel told the audience to “write the story that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that is uncomfortable.”
“I challenge you,” she continued. “Nowadays, visibility seems to be synonymous with success. Don’t be afraid to disappear from her, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence. I dedicate this story to every survivor of sexual assault.
Immediately after Coel’s victory, she was congratulated by Cynthia Erivo, one of her former co-stars, for her first series, “Chewing Gum”. Olivia Colman, who starred in “The Crown,” later greeted Coel in her own acceptance speech for Best Leading Actress in a Drama.
“I May Destroy You” had racked up all of its nominations in the stacked limited series category: best limited series and best actress (Coel), supporting actor (Paapa Essiedu), writing (Coel) and two nods for directing (Coel and Sam Miller for the episode “Ego Death” and Sam Miller for “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”).
“‘I May Destroy You’ is a coming-of-age story, a generational snapshot, and a tender, tangy tribute to the paramount value of friendship when you’re young and underemployed,” wrote the reviewer at New York Times television Mike Hale in June 2020. “His plot is built around a vaguely remembered rape (based on Coel’s own experience) and the recovery and investigative processes that follow. But the show is never all about that.