Michaela Coel’s acceptance speech for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, earned for the brilliant I May Destroy You, may have already cemented itself as the highlight of this year’s Emmy Awards. Coel’s brief and piercing speech came after The Queen’s Gambit director Scott Frank gave a spiel that was anything but, and it made Coel’s acceptance all the more powerful in contrast. Coel took a moment to steel herself before taking the stage and dedicating these words to writers: “Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable. I dare you. In a world that entices us to browse 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.” Coel ended the speech with some thank-yous, adding, “I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault.” To pack that much into a speech that didn’t go overtime? That’s why she’s an Emmy Award-winning writer.
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