Michaela Coel has a story to tell and it’s both sad and disgusting.
Among the myriad of woman who have revealed their Hollywood #MeToo and #TimesUp stories, the Chewing Gum star recalled her own horrifying sexual assault incident during her keynote lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
She says that years ago she met up with friends for drinks one evening and then woke up the next day in a production company’s officer and remembers being sexually assaulted the night before.
“I had a flashback. It turned out I’d been sexually assaulted by strangers. The first people I called after the police, before my own family, were the producers,” she said before claiming producers were “teetering back and forth between the line of knowing what normal human empathy is and not knowing what empathy is at all.” She was then supposedly told that she still had to meet her deadlines for scripts she was writing.
“I asked to push the deadline back and for the channel to be informed as to why. The deadline was pushed back, but the head of comedy never found out why,” she said. “Unfortunately we’re still hearing of far too many experiences of sexual harassment across the industry. Our recent survey of Bectu members working in media and entertainment found that nearly two-thirds of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment, and this rose to 82% for those who are 30 and under."
During her address, Coel also spoke about another incident involving a TV producer in London. She says she was verbally sexually assaulted and the friend she went to an event with was also called the n-word.
“I said, ‘Oh yes, nice to meet you.’ ‘Do you know how much I want to f*ck you right now?’ was his immediate choice of response,” she said. “I turned from him and went home so quickly I left my plus one. He called, upset. Someone called him a n****r. It was the same man. Could my silence have encouraged this producer to push boundaries with women and black people further? This thought is uncomfortable, but I cannot block it out. I have to face it.”
Watch Michaela Coel’s full speech below.
Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images