Coel collected two golden masks this evening: one for mini-series and another for leading actress. While she used her first speech, for mini-series, to thank the cast and crew, the second time she ascended the stage — to pick up her leading actress award — she singled out O’Brien, saying: “I want to dedicate this award to the director of intimacy Ita O’Brien. Thank you for your existence in our industry, for making the space safe for creating physical, emotional, and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power, without being exploited or abused in the process,” Coel said.
“I know what it’s like to shoot without an intimacy director — the messy, embarrassing feeling for the crew, the internal devastation for the actor. Your direction was essential to my show, and I believe essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of consent,” Coel added.