At the opening of awards season, Michaela Coel‘s I May Destroy You was spectacularly snubbed from the Golden Globes nominations list. Often referred to as “a sexual consent drama”, it was hailed by critics but was failed to be recognised until now. At the 2021 Television BAFTA Awards overnight, the show was awarded Best Mini-Series.
In her acceptance speech, Coel dedicated the award to the intimacy director of the show, Ita O’Brien.
“Thank you for your existence in our industry, for making the space safe, for creating physical, emotional and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power without being exploited or abused in the process,” Coel said.
She continued, “I know what it is like to shoot without an intimacy director. The messy, embarrassing feeling for the crew. The internal devastation for the actor. Your direction was essential to my show and I believe essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of consent.”
I May Destroy You was spearheaded by BBC and HBO and follows Coel’s own experience with sexual assault by strangers after her drink was spiked. It details the aftermath of the rape.
Coel appeared on the red carpet earlier in the evening wearing a black Maxmilian gown which featured a keyhole front and open back with red-capped sleeves. It was a stunning addition to her night of recognition.
Off the back of Coel’s series, the actress and producer announced she is releasing a novel entitled, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto. According to the Hollywood Report, it “will recount deeply personal anecdotes from her life and work and will detail her journey to reclaiming creativity and power, while also pushing readers to reflect on theirs.”
Furthermore, a new BBC series is slated to continue the storyline from I May Destroy You. At a virtual event for the network, it was revealed a project was in the works but details are very much under wraps.
“It’s truly in Michaela’s head and it’s not for me to second guess that too much at this point,” BBC drama controller Piers Wenger told Deadline. “It’s at relatively early stages, but I wanted to let the fans of I May Destroy You know that there is a new show coming along.”
Big things are coming.