Michelle Williams’ Emmys Speech Underlined the Power of Equal Pay — Read Her Full Speech

First and foremost, let’s get this straight: We. Love. Michelle. Williams. She strikes the perfect balance between out-of-this-world Hollywood starlet and totally down-to-earth Brooklyn mom, and we always fan-girl hard for her on the red carpet. But Michelle Williams’ 2019 Emmys acceptance speech really took things to another level.

Williams, who won an Emmy for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon, spoke out about the importance of equal pay, no matter your gender or race.

“I see this as an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feels safe enough to voice them and respected enough that they’ll be heard,” Williams began. “When I asked for more dance classes, I heard yes. More voice lessons, yes. A different wig, a pair of fake teeth not made out of rubber, yes.”

Williams was just getting started. “All of these things — they require effort and they cost more money, but my bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon. And so, I want to say thank you so much to FX and to Fox 21 Studios for supporting me completely and for paying me equally because they understood … that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And then where do they put that value? They put it into their work.”

Michelle Williams
Image: Rob Latour/Shutterstock.

Cue thousands of women watching the Emmys all over the country jumping up and giving Williams a standing ovation. “And so, the next time a woman, and especially a woman of color — because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart — tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her. Because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it. Thank you.”

If you don’t already have goosebumps, just wait. Williams, in closing, gave the sweetest shoutout to her 13-year-old daughter we’ve ever heard. “Matilda, this is for you, like everything else,” Williams said. Yup, it’s official: We love Michelle Williams so much.

 

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