In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the iconic actor and activist spoke about how much she loved “discovering” Coel, who has earned tremendous accolades from critics for her HBO (US) and BBC One (UK) television drama, which she created, wrote, co-directed, and executive produced.
“She’s a true artist. An observer of life,” Fonda said. “I mean, the way that she filmed the last episode where she did so many versions of her with the rapist, I just had to keep watching it because I would be thinking about a scene and [go], ‘Wait, wait. Did I make a mistake?’ Whoa. Michaela’s got a sense of the truth. It’s somatic.”
(I May Destroy You is primarily about a young woman, played by Coel, dealing with the aftermath of being raped.)
Fonda also chastised the Golden Globes for failing to recognise Coel, who did not receive any nominations this past year. “I don’t understand it. They should have recognised her ... There’s very little as important as what Michaela’s done.”
The Golden Globes and Hollywood Foreign Press Association faced intense criticism this past year when the Los Angeles Times broke a story about how the 87-member group of international journalists that hands out the Golden Globes has no Black members.
The Grace & Frankie actor also name-dropped I May Destroy You during her speech at the Golden Globes, where she accepted the Cecil B DeMille Award onstage. “I May Destroy You has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way,” she said.
Fonda’s acceptance speech also dug into the myriad ways representation is still missing from Hollywood, saying, “Stories, they really can change people. But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry, a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.
“So let’s all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards, let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”
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