After Michaela Coel’s snub from the Golden Globe nominations, the I May Destroy You star is finally being recognised elsewhere. At the Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards on March 16, Coel won three awards across the evening for Best Actress, Best Drama Writer and Best Miniseries. She used her acceptance speech to highlight those who have assisted in her career and also brought light to issues facing all women today.
She first thanked the pioneer of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke.
“Sexual assault is at the forefront of public discourse,” Coel said via Zoom. “I suspect her bravery and resilience may have contributed to the bravery and resilience I mustered to write these scripts, that broadcasters and producers mustered up to support me through an unusual and difficult process.”
She continued, “And finally, the bravery and resilience the audience gathered up to take in my show and take in their own lives in the process, gathering the shattered pieces of their own painful memories, placing the pieces together and finally recognising their own trauma. Writing is a form of communication and I am so thankful to feel your response, to know I have been seen and heard. Thank you.”
I May Destroy You follows Arabella who is sexually assaulted in a nightclub. The experience changes her life forever and she is forced to reassess everything, including her career, friends and family. The plot was based on Coel’s own experience.
She continued her acceptance speech by highlighting the inequalities faced by Black women in all areas of life.
“What a privilege it is to be on the same list as Glenda Jackson and Daisy Edgar-Jones,” she said. “We are in solidarity and I hope to work with you one day. But I want to dedicate this award to the darker of our gender, Black women, whose mothers are currently four times more likely to die in childbirth or pregnancy, who live under particularly cruel scrutiny by the media sometimes simply for not being white, whose vulnerability and tenderness is often overlooked simply for not being white.”
The 12-episode series was also nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award while Coel is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.