Michaela Coel Just Won Her First Emmy and Made History in the Process

Congrats are in order — Michaela Coel is officially an Emmy winner! At Sunday's ceremony, the 33-year-old actress took home the award for outstanding writing in a limited or anthology series or movie for her impactful series I May Destroy You, becoming the first Black woman to ever win the category. The HBO show, which follows the story of 20-something writer Arabella, who is drugged and raped after a night out with friends, is loosely based on Coel's own sexual-assault experience in 2016.

"I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault."

Coel — who is the showrunner, director, star, and writer of I May Destroy You — began her acceptance speech with a poignant message for fellow writers before dedicating her award to survivors of sexual assault. "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 determine how we feel about ourselves, and see in turn still the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to show 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," she said. "I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault."

Watch Coel's moving speech in full in the video below.

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