Triggering scene in HBO's 'I May Destroy You' is 'so hard to watch but it's so important'

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Since premiering earlier this month, HBO's new show I May Destroy You, written by and starring Michaela Coel, has been praised for its realistic portrayal of sexual assault and the aftermath, and Monday night's episode was no exception. 

The fourth episode, titled "That Was Fun," had many viewers taking to social media following the final moments of the show as Arabella's friend Kwame became the next character to fall victim to rape. A plot point that many saw as both unexpected and triggering.

Kwame, portrayed by actor Paapa Essiedu, goes to a stranger named Malik's apartment for a random hookup and, after refusing to have unprotected sex, the two continue. However, as Kwame is getting dressed to leave, Malik pushes Kwame back down and forces himself on Kwame, with his hands held down, as he proceeds to rape him.

The traumatic scene devastated viewers, as many took to Twitter to share how "hard to watch" the show is, yet "how important it is" to watch as well. 

If you get a chance watch “I MAY DESTROY YOU”. Side note: it’s a bit uncomfortable but it addresses important issues so just watch it

— modern-day icarus (@Its_Mahlatse) June 30, 2020

i may destroy you is so hard to watch but it's so important 😭

— ∞ simone ∞ (@earthwisdomfire) June 30, 2020

I may destroy you is low-key devastating.

— Tranae Hardy (@tranaehardy) June 30, 2020

I May Destroy You is lowkey kinda hard to watch

— Eb (@Ebony_n_Irony) June 30, 2020

I May Destroy You Episode 4. Once again TRIGGERED.

— Jordan (@jordan_pbp) June 30, 2020

just because there wasn't one...to anyone who watches #IMayDestroyYou Episode 4 needs to come with a trigger warning for sexual assault victims.

— angela. (@__ANGIEstone) June 30, 2020

The episode ended with Kwame in tears calling Arabella to say goodnight, but holding back from sharing anything that had transpired. A feeling that was, sadly, triggering for some viewers.

However, despite how tough the show is to take in, the reality of its portrayal is exactly why the show is pushing boundaries and continues to be one of the most talked about new shows on HBO.

I May Destroy You airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Watch ‘I May Destroy You’ being praised for its ‘realistic’ portrayal of Arabella’s sexual assault and the aftermath:

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