The HBO series from creator and star Michaela Coel is nominated for nine trophies at the Emmys ceremony taking place Sunday, Sept. 19, including Outstanding Limited Series. I May Destroy You centers on a TV writer named Arabella Essiedu (Michaela) who struggles with moving forward in her life after she is drugged and raped.
In 2018, Michaela delivered a lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival and shared that she is a real-life survivor of sexual assault. She described a time when she regained consciousness and realized she had been raped while finishing an assignment as a writer on her series Chewing Gum, which helped inspire her newest show’s story line.
“I was working overnight in the company’s offices,” recalled the 33-year-old performer, who is nominated for both her acting and writing on I May Destroy You. “I had an episode due at 7 a.m. I took a break and had a drink with a good friend who was nearby. I emerged into consciousness typing season two, many hours later. I was lucky—I had a flashback. It turned out I had been sexually assaulted by strangers.”