Film & TV

Michaela Coel Dedicated Her BAFTA Award to 'I May Destroy You' Intimacy Coordinator

Ita O’Brien ensured all of the show’s sex scenes were performed safely and consensually.

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Michaela Coel Dedicated Her BAFTA Award to 'I May Destroy You' Intimacy Coordinator

Ita O’Brien ensured all of the show’s sex scenes were performed safely and consensually.

Last night at the 2021 BAFTAs, Michaela Coel accepted two awards recognizing her work on I May Destroy You, a boundary-breaking series on the trauma that follows sexual assault. Coel, who created and starred in the powerful, unexpectedly funny show, was awarded Best Mini Series and Leading Actress.

Coel dedicated her latter win to Ita O’Brien, the intimacy coordinator on I May Destroy You. In her role, O’Brien –  who also worked on Normal People and Sex Education – ensures that sex scenes are performed safely with the consent of all actors involved. “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,” Coel said of O’Brien while accepting the award.

The actor continued describing the importance of O’Brien’s work: “I know what it’s 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.”

Watch Michaela Coel’s BAFTA dedication above.

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Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
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