British television series “I May Destroy You,” which depicts the impact of a sexual assault on a young woman, has won acclaim as real-life survivors of sexual violence.
The series, nominated for several British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA), which is being distributed on Sunday, tells the story of a successful young black blogger and novelist who details the assault she suffered while in a London bar with her friends.Karan Tripathi, a 25-year-old Indian who was sexually harassed at work, said the show “changed my life”. He added that it was only after watching the show that he realized he had been a victim of sexual assault.
This series, which was broadcast on “BBC” and “HBO” in 2020, was written and directed by Michaela Cowell, who plays the role of its heroine, Arabella. It is largely based on Quill’s own life experiences.
In 12 episodes that include intense scenes, Coyle portrays her frankly without regard for taboos, normal but violent confrontations.
The series raises questions about the idea of sexual consent, especially in the gay community, and strikes a chord with survivors of sexual violence.
Tripathi said the show helped him realize he was a victim after being harassed by his boss and asking for favors.
“I was wondering if it was really sexual assault, because at that moment I was freezing. I simply couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t resist,” said Tripathi, who is gay.
“The series helped me answer this question,” he added, pointing out that there is no legal recognition in India that a man can be subjected to sexual harassment.
He said that the series “gave me the courage to talk about things that made me vulnerable,” adding, “It gave me a voice, it gave me language, it gave me expressions to talk about sexual harassment.”
Tripathi learned about the series through a discussion on social media after it failed to win any US Golden Globe nominations in March, despite calls for more variety.
However, the series was nominated for six categories at Sunday’s BAFTA Awards.
Coyle was nominated for Best Actress, while Papa Isido was nominated for Best Actor for his role as a gay friend of Arabella, who was also sexually assaulted during a Grindr date.
Marie Albert, a 26-year-old French journalist and feminist, said the series was well-deserved.
“I don’t remember seeing such an inspiring show before,” she said, adding that it made her “feel justified in demanding justice” about the sexual assaults she suffered.
Alber has reported cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment at work.
She also mentioned that she was raped, something she only realized while watching an episode of the series in which the heroine’s partner removes a condom during sex without her knowledge.
A spokesperson for Britain’s Survivors Trust, which provides assistance to people who have been raped and sexually assaulted, said that while sexual violence was “largely used as a tool for drama” the series was “helpful and inspiring for survivors”.
He added that the series portrays its heroine, Arabella, as “imperfect and realistic” rather than making her “a typical victim stereotype”.
He explained that the series’ finale is a “therapeutic experience” that sends the message that “although we cannot change the events we are exposed to, we can overcome them in our own way.” “It’s not typical rapes, it’s situations I’ve been through,” Alper said.
For his part, Tripathi praised the series for portraying events in a “real” and “as they are” way, adding that the show “transcends cultures.”