Accepting awards for a show that dealt with sexual abuse and consent, Coel said film and television sets were vulnerable places for actors and crew members. Not to have intimacy experts was “thoughtless” and showed a “lack of mindfulness”, she added.
I May Destroy You was one of the cultural events of 2020, in any genre, described by the Guardian’s Lucy Mangan as “astonishing, beautiful, thrilling”. The BBC and HBO series was inspired by Coel’s own experience of sexual assault by strangers after her drink was spiked. It is about the aftermath of a rape and is often called a “a sexual consent drama” but it is also a story of fun, friendship and more.
Coel was named best actress and dedicated her Bafta to the series’ intimacy director, Ita O’Brien. “Thank you for your existence in our industry, 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.
“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. Your direction was essential to my show and I believe essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of consent.”
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