Michaela Coel is Serving Lessons on The Screen

By Chanel Davis

A very striking original writer, actress, creator, and producer, Michaela Coel delivers a great piece of art in her British comedy-drama series titled I May Destroy You. The series centers around the main character Arabella, who is played by Coel. Arabella is a recently popularized millennial writer who is drugged and sexually assaulted in a nightclub one evening while out on the town with a few friends and associates. As a result of this night’s events, Coel details the post-traumatic stress one can experience after living through such a horrific experience.

Through the series, Coel includes different perspectives from co-stars while tying in their own experiences with sexual manipulation and common stigmas centered around sex. She beautifully pinpoints what most may overlook when and if they were to encounter a friend or loved one who has gone through a similar situation. When this one night drastically changes her life, she begins to assess everything from her career to family to friends. She dives deep into her thinking process’s mental mechanics does as she more meticulously surveillance her surroundings. She reverently grows to rebuild who she is and is empowered to cover her experience’s pains and trauma to keep sane.

She stated how she was taking a writing break at the time from developing the then-upcoming second season of Chewing Gum. While out on the town, as portrayed in the series, she was drugged and raped. She used that experience to tell her story of how she recognized the experience as her actual reality. She dives into how she coped during that time and reassessed her life. Being able to take fear caused by another individual is a very challenging task. Putting those fears into words is very provocative to publicly display a series of emotions while navigating through a life shift.

The series alone is something so provocative many should consider viewing. Coel stated she was offered a $1 million deal by Netflix for the series when she completed it. She declined the offer due to Netflix’s deal only promising her a small percentage of the rights. She stood up against selling out her injurious, gut-wrenching life experience to boldly stand firm in keeping the rights to the traumatic experience she had painted for her audience. She was able to come out on the other side by catching the attention of many viewers who understood the journey she took them on with what she described as events that were close to her bruised heart.

I highly recommend this series to receive insight into what one individual dealt with while reconstructing the life and its means—someone who was able to empower themself and many others by telling her truths. My favorite saying is turning pain into passion is one of the most valuable gems in life we can share with others. Coel did this beautifully, boldly, and bravely! I am very grateful for the detailed experience to understand better. The roller coaster of emotions she provided with sharing her story has stuck with me ever since. Well done, Queen!


Chanel Davis is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Chanel is the creator and operator of the Diary Of A Chocolate Girl podcast aiming to connect with chocolate girls all over through personal experiences and opinions with mild humor and a spiritual flare. Be sure to connect on IG and Facebook @DiaryofaChocolateGirl.

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