Emmy winner Michelle Williams calls for pay equality in acceptance speech

Emmy award winner Michelle Williams on Sunday used her acceptance speech to draw attention to the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

Williams, who took home the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for her work in “Fosse/Verdon,” first thanked FX and Fox 21 TV studios for paying her the same as co-star Sam Rockwell.

She then made an impassioned plea to employers and the movie industry, telling them to “listen” to women when they say what they need to do the job.

“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,” Williams said to applause from the crowd.

She said she views her Emmy award as an “acknowledgment 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.”

Williams detailed the multiple requests she made to the production team to better perform her role, including dance and voice classes, as well as a different wig and “a pair of fake teeth not made out of rubber.”

“I wanted to say thank you so much to FX and to Fox 21 studios for supporting me completely and 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,” Williams said.


Williams’s speech is of particular note following news reports in 2017 that Williams was paid significantly less than her male co-star Mark Wahlberg for reshoots that she’d done on the movie “All the Money in the World.”

The Associated Press reported that Williams was paid just $1,000 to reshoot scenes, while Wahlberg received $1.5 million for the work.

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