I May Destroy You creator-star Michaela Coel delivered a succinct and poignant acceptance speech at the 2021 Emmys, accepting her award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. “I dedicate this story,” she said onstage, “to every single survivor of sexual assault.”
Coel — creator, writer, co-director, executive producer and star of the BBC/HBO drama — received the trophy from an enthusiastic Patrick Stewart, and was eloquent and emotional in her acceptance.
“I just wrote a little something for all the writers, really,” she said. “Write the tale 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 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.”
After some individual thank-yous referencing her time working on the show, which she called “two of the best years of my life,” she ended with her dedication to sexual assault survivors. Coel based the series, whose main character is drugged and assaulted at a bar, partly on her own personal experience.
I May Destroy You earned nine Emmy nominations in the Limited or Anthology Series or Movie category, including Music Supervision, Contemporary Costumes and Casting, among others. Coel also earned nominations for Writing, Directing and Lead Actress.