(c) Sky News 2021: Michaela Coel said she ‘processed her own trauma’ while writing I May Destroy You in NAACP awards speech

Coel won the award for outstanding writing in a comedy series at the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) ceremony for the final episode of her BBC/HBO show I May Destroy You, called Ego Death.

Despite being snubbed for the Golden Globes, Coel’s show, which is about a woman called Arabella who is trying to rebuild her life after being raped, has also taken gongs at the Royal Television Society and the Independent Spirit Awards, and is nominated for a raft of others.

Accepting her award from the NAACP, she spoke about her creative process, as well as thanking those who had been involved in the show.

She said: “A writer is only as good as those reading and questioning their work.

“It was important for me to receive opinions of black people, of queer people whilst I developed these scripts, and they provided me with that.”

“The privilege of writing in the way that I do, is that I get to spend a lot of time on my own in the middle of nowhere – the only interruption to my sense of calm, being the fears my own mind possesses.

“It was here in this silence that I was able to process my own trauma, in a way that helps me grow. It was here, I was able to both loosen and tighten the sense of myself as a woman, as a black woman and as a child of working-class immigrants.

“I really hope that more black writers get this silence to think, sit and give ourselves feedback.”

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As well as winning the award for outstanding writing in a comedy series, she was also nominated in two other categories.

The NAACP Image Awards celebrate the achievements of people of colour in the media, with people such as Barack Obama being given awards in the past.


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