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Michaela Coel Dedicates Emmy Speech To Survivors Of Sexual Assault

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The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards belonged to Michaela Coel, the creator, producer, director, and star of the HBO and BBC series, I May Destroy You. The British actress took home the Emmy award for Best Writing in a Television Limited Series or Movie for her work on the powerful series and made history as the first Black woman ever to do so.

It goes without saying that Coel’s work in I May Destroy You is impeccable, as it follows a young writer (played by Coel) struggling with the aftermath of surviving sexual assault. What makes the series so powerful is that it’s based on Coel’s real-life experiences, as she (like her character) is also a survivor of sexual assault, an experience that inspired her to create the series.

Wearing a neon green, cut-out, two-piece gown, dainty jewelry, and her signature fade, the 34-year-old took the stage to accept her award looking rather surprised, yet graceful and beautiful. She gave an extremely powerful speech and one that the Internet is still in awe over, even long after the Emmys have gone off for the evening.

“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable. I dare you,” she challenged the audience. “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. … I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.”

Coel, who grew up in East London, began her career performing poetry at open mics. In 2009, she joined the Talawa Theatre Company, a black British theater company that champions Black excellence in the art of theater. She worked tirelessly at her craft and deserves all the flowers she can get.

Check out Michaela Coel’s powerful speech below.

And right before this powerful moment, the audience fell in love with Michaela even more after witnessing her reaction to her big win, as captured on R29unbothered’s Instagram page.

Congratulations to first-time Emmy Award winner and Black history maker, Michaela Coel!


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