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'I May Destroy You' Isn't About One Person's Assault, But The World That Condones It

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‘I May Destroy You’ creator Michaela Coel on consent, power, and the systems that fail us.
TV & Movies
How the I May Destroy You creator tackled everything from consent to power to race to create the show of the summer.
Creator, showrunner, and star of I May Destroy You Michaela Coel is OK for us to call her jolting HBO series a consent drama. It is about consent, after all, and it is about sex. And it’s about race and gender, and sexual orientation. Money. Geography. Power. “I have no idea how to encapsulate all of the show,” she tells Bustle. As a shorthand, since we seem to need one, consent drama works for her. But she’s more fascinated by consent’s antithesis.
“Deception,” Coel says, assigning the dark subject a name. “Whether it’s deceiving someone and spiking their drink so that when they wake up, they have no idea anything has happened,” she offers by way of example from the series, “the deception around the act is what I find interesting. All the omission, all the trickery that is involved in a lot of our dating interactions, and how that is interlinked when sex is in the middle of it all.”
I May Destroy You is based in part on Coel’s own experience of sexual assault, and it seduces with the intimacy of autofiction.

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