Michaela Coel wins her first Emmy Award

After it was controversially snubbed by the Golden Globes, “I May Destroy You” received some measure of awards justice when it received six Primetime Emmy nominations.

And on Sunday night, Michaela Coel — its creator, writer, co-director and star — won her first ever Emmy Award, for limited series writing. That also made her the first Black woman to win in that category.

In her acceptance speech, Coel told the audience to “write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable.”

“I dare you,” she continued. “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. I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.”

Immediately after Coel won, she was congratulated by Cynthia Erivo, one of her former co-stars on her first series, “Chewing Gum.” Olivia Colman, who starred in “The Crown,” later saluted Coel in her own acceptance speech for best lead 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 “Ego Death” episode and Sam Miller for “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes”).

“‘I May Destroy You’ is a coming-of-age story, a generational snapshot and a tart, tender salute to the primal value of friendship when you’re young and underemployed,” wrote the New York Times TV critic Mike Hale in June 2020. “Its plot is built around a hazily remembered rape (based on Coel’s own experience), and the processes of recovery and investigation that follow. But the show is never just about that.”

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