Michaela Coel Creates And Stars In Her Sexual Assault Inspired Series ‘I May Destroy You’
Photograph by Natalie Seery/HBO

BAFTA award-winning actress Michaela Coel has created, written and executed produced a new HBO series about a writer searching for lost pieces to her own story in I May Destroy You

The new series, which also casts Coel in the leading role, asks viewers to remember that feminists don’t trade the right to their bodies for their liberation. 

Arabella Essiuedu, Coel’s character, is on a career high as a viral piece of writing propels her into internet stardom and gets her named “the voice of a generation,” by the British press.

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Hours before the manuscript of her first major book deal is due, Arabella reconnects with a group of friends at a pub—a well earned writing break as she prepares for an all nighter writing. But later she loses pieces of the evening to a drunken blackout, or so she thinks. 

In the trailer, Arabella struggles to understand what happened as flashbacks of the night trickle into her consciousness: a broken smartphone screen and a gash on the side of her forehead present clues that the night ended in something other than affirmative consent. 

The Chewing Gum creator has had her own experiences with the show’s subject matter. Coel revealed that she was sexually assaulted by strangers as she was in the process of writing the award-winning comedy in 2018. She took a brief break with a friend and did not recover consciousness until hours later. 

Coel said she still felt pressure to complete production in 2018. 

In an interview with Deadline, she said, “like any other experience I’ve found traumatic, it’s been therapeutic to write about it, and actively twist a narrative of pain into one of hope, and even humor.” 

I May Destroy You debuts on HBO in June. Get a first glimpse of the trailer below.


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