Michaela Coel's Inspiring Emmy Speech in Full: 'Do Not Be Afraid to Disappear'

Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You was one of the biggest show's to come out of 2020 and at the 2021 Emmys she took home one of the biggest prizes of the night—Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology series or Movie.

The 12-part series was up for nine nominations at this year's ceremony, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, and won Outstanding Writing for Coel and Outstanding Music Supervision at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

I May Destroy You, written entirely by Coel, followed the story of Arabella, an aspiring writer from London who is seeking to remember the events of the night when she was sexually assaulted and to rebuild her life.

The series does not only tell Arabella's story of sexual assault, it branches out to tell the stories of her friends, Terry (played by Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu).

I May Destroy You also tackles many other important topics from racism, homosexuality, discrimination, class division, poverty, drugs, sex, sexual identity, rape culture, and toxic relationships.

It also shines a bright light on the Black experience and culture, featuring a predominately Black British cast.

The series was inspired by Coel's own experience as a victim of sexual assault and her story and Arabella's I May Destroy You have given a voice to victims all across the world.

Accepting her award at the 2021 Emmys, Coel, becoming the first Black woman to take home the prize, dedicated her prize to "every survivor of sexual assault" and gave a nod to aspiring writers across the world.

Newsweek has her speech below in full:

"I just wrote a little something for writers, really. Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that is uncomfortable. I dare you.

"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.

"Thank you to Casey Bloys, Amy Gravitt, Piers Wenger, and Various Artists Limited, for two of the best years of my life. I dedicate this award to every single survivor of sexual assault. Thank you."

I May Destroy You has received critical acclaim since it aired in June 2020 on BBC One and HBO.

It won at the U.K. BAFTA Awards for Best Mini-Series, Best Director: Drama, Best Writer: Drama, and Best Actress as well as others such as two Independent Spirit Awards, a Gotham Award and a GLAAD Media Award.

I May Destroy You is streaming on HBO Max and the BBC iPlayer now.

Michaela Coel Emmy Speech full
Michaela Coel at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images