Michelle Williams Spoke Out on the Gender Pay Gap in Powerful Emmys Acceptance Speech

Four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams is now officially an Emmy winner after picking up the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie victory for her portrayal of Gwen Verdon in “Fosse/Verdon.” Williams took to the stage to accept the award and her moving speech quickly became one of the night’s most memorable moments.

Williams took the opportunity to speak out on Hollywood’s gender pay gap, thanking FX for paying her 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.”

"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,” she continued, speaking to the crowd. “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.”

Loni, Adrienne, Tamera, Jeannie and guest host Amanda Seales praised Michelle’s empowering plea on Monday’s show. As Loni observed, “She read the whole industry last night!”

“That takes bravery and courage to say that in front of people you know disagree, because they can make a mental note and be like, ‘Nope, not hiring her for the next movie,” Tamera shared. “So, thank you, Michelle, for doing that.”

Jeannie added that she’s proud of people who have chosen to use their platforms to spread a message.

“I like that she also differentiated women of color,” Amanda remarked. She went on to say, “You have to acknowledge that feminism has to be intersectional, so I appreciate that she made a point of saying, ‘It’s different over here.’”

“I love seeing someone who isn’t a person of color standing up for people of color,” Adrienne added. “It is an ally, and I just think it says so much about who the person is. It’s not just about, ‘Oh, it’s my people,’ but that you’re also looking out for everyone in general.”

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