Furious Emily in Paris writer rages against I May Destroy You’s Golden Globes snub

Michaela Coel with wet pink hair in front of a pink sunrise / Lily Collins in a red beret

An Emily In Paris writer had something to say about the Golden Globes snubbing Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You.

I May Destroy You and its mostly-Black cast were universally acclaimed for deftly handling the topics of rape and the aftermath of sexual trauma, appearing on countless best of 2020 lists – which is why many were outraged when it was given zero nominations for the Golden Globes.

Many of those same people were further confused when Emily in Paris was nominated in two categories – a show that was widely panned (though popular), evidenced by its 63 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to 98 per cent for I May Destroy You). 

Deborah Copaken, a writer on Emily in Paris, echoed the frustrations felt by many in an essay for The Guardian.

Addressing criticism of her show, Copaken wrote: “I could definitely see how a show about a white American selling luxury whiteness, in a pre-pandemic Paris scrubbed free of its vibrant African and Muslim communities, might rankle.”


Of I May Destroy You, she wrote: “That show…. deserves to win all the awards.

“When it didn’t, I was stunned. I May Destroy You was not only my favourite show of 2020. It’s my favourite show ever. It takes the complicated issue of a rape – I’m a sexual assault survivor myself – and infuses it with heart, humour, pathos and a story constructed so well, I had to watch it twice, just to understand how Coel did it.”

I Will Destroy You Golden Globes

Michaela Coel’s I Will Destroy You was snubbed at the Golden Globes. (BBC)

Copaken was excited about being nominated for Emily in Paris, but explained how her joy was dulled by the rage she felt about the situation.

“That excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage over Coel’s snub. That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything.”

The issue isn’t just one of representation, she continued.  “Is Hamilton great because Lin-Manuel Miranda is Puerto Rican? No. It’s great because it bangs.”

Copaken concluded by praising Micheal Coel.

“How anyone can watch I May Destroy You and not call it a brilliant work of art or Michaela Coel a genius is beyond my capacity to understand how these decisions are made.”