Michelle Williams just shut down the Equal Pay debate in her 2019 Emmys speech
Michelle Williams just shut the house down at the 2019 Emmys. Williams gave a powerful speech while accepting the award for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon. We’re still giving her a standing ovation in our living rooms.
In her moving speech, Williams discussed the pertinent issue of pay disparity and how her bosses on this project allowed her to honor Gwen Verdon in the way she wanted to.
Williams deemed this award an acknowledgment of what women can accomplish when they are treated with the respect they deserve.
"I see this as an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feel safe enough to voice them, and respected enough that they'll be heard."
The actress noted that when she asked for more dance and voice lessons, costume tweaks, and things that “required effort and cost more money” but ultimately allowed her to do her job, she was given what she needed. Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 studios for treating her with respect and support, and for paying her equally to her male costar, Sam Rockwell.
She also urged other employers to take note and make a change.
"They understood that when you put value into a person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And then where do they put that value? They put it into their work," she said. "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."
We’re cheering Williams on so loudly, and hope that every employer not only heard but listened to this important speech. Michelle closed her time on stage by dedicating the award to her daughter, Matilda Ledger. Watch the full speech below. (We’re currently watching it on repeat.)
Can Williams get an Emmy for this Emmys speech?