The writer was candid about the incident.
BAFT Award-winning star Michaela Coel recently opened up about being sexually assaulted. The actress says she the incident happened while she was writing Chewing Gum. Coel revealed her traumatic experience while giving the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival today.
The writer said she had gone out for a drink with a friend before the alleged incident.
“I had an episode due at 7 a.m. I took a break and had a drink with a good friend who was nearby. I emerged into consciousness typing season two, many hours later. I was lucky. I had a flashback. It turned out I’d been sexually assaulted by strangers.”
Coel alerted the authorities and the Chewing Gum producers, but the production heads went “back and forth between the line of knowing what normal human empathy is and not knowing what empathy is at all.”
“When there are police involved, and footage, of people carrying your sleeping writer into dangerous places, when cuts are found, when there’s blood … what is your job.”
The production company covered the expenses of her visit to a private clinic for therapy after the assault. When she asked for a deadline extension for the series script, she discovered the British channel’s head of comedy was unaware of these events. Transparency is important to Michaela Coel.
“Like any other experience I’ve found traumatic, it’s been therapeutic to write about it, and actively twist a narrative of pain into one of hope, and even humor. And be able to share it with you, as part of a fictional drama on television, because I think transparency helps.”