‘I May Destroy You’ takes home 2 BAFTA TV awards

Star and series creator Michaela Coel championed her intimacy director, Ita O’Brien, saying her help was "essential" to the successful show.

Michaela Coel’s BBC/HBO series I May Destroy You took home two BAFTA TV Awards this weekend after a year of critical acclaim.

As theGrio previously reported, I May Destroy you was a critical success for Coel. While the show gained positive reviews and topped many year-end lists, it was a sizable snub at last year’s Golden Globes, which was a big part of the conversation surrounding the HFPA and diversity in Hollywood in general. Now, as more award shows continue to air, it seems I May Destroy You is finally starting to get its flowers.

While the Michaela Coel-helmed series “I May Destroy You” gained positive reviews and topped many year-end lists, it was a sizable snub at last year’s Golden Globes. (BBC)

The series took home awards for best mini-series and best leading actress at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Television Awards on Sunday. Coel — who’s also its creator, writer, co-director and executive producer — dedicated the win to the series’ intimacy director, Ita O’Brien.

“Thank you for your existence in our industry,” Coel said to O’Brien in her acceptance speech, “for making the space safe for creating physical, emotional and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power, without being exploited or abused in the process.”

Coel also used the time to speak to the importance of intimacy directors in general on set in order to help everyone involved in a production feel safe and comfortable. “I know what it is like to shoot without an intimacy director … the messy, embarrassing feeling for the crew, the internal devastation for the actor,” she said. “Your direction was essential to my show and I believe essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of consent.”

While I May Destroy You had a successful night at Sunday’s BAFTAs, Coel has told viewers they shouldn’t hold their breath for a Season Two. “Definitely, there won’t be a second season of I May Destroy You,” she shared in the post-BAFTA press conference. “I think I May Destroy You has been so huge it’s destroyed itself, but you know, we continue making work and we do other things.”

Coel also opened up in the press conference about what she hopes viewers take away from her now-BAFTA Award-winning drama.

“I would like for people to search themselves a bit and to be a bit more curious than they already are,” she explained. “That’s definitely what helped me over these two years of making the show is being curious and thinking about uncomfortable parts of myself and uncomfortable experiences and not being afraid to ask myself questions.”

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