Fosse/Verdon star Michelle Williams’ Emmy speech has won the internet today

She calls out the industry on pay inequality.

author_img Poona M Published :  23rd September 2019 11:29 AM   |   Published :   |  23rd September 2019 11:29 AM
Michelle Williams’ Emmy

Michelle Williams

Hollywood, like most other global entertainment industries, has a gender pay gap issue.

This topic was raised on a major stage like the Emmy's by American actor Michelle Williams who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for Fosse/Verdon.


On receiving the award, she thanked the TV Academy and her co-star Sam Rockwell and then proceeded to say. “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.” 


Her speech comes at the heel of the #NotWorthLess movement, which saw female writers, producers, etc quit a production upon learning about pay disparity. Also, as USA Today reported, when Michelle was reshooting All the Money in the World—to exclude scenes with Kevin Spacey (who was replaced by Christopher Plummer)—her co-star Mark Wahlberg was reportedly paid $1.5 million, while Williams received just $1,000.


Fans definitely remembered those instances as Williams continued to speak. “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.’ And 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 honour Gwen Verdon.”


“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, adding, “And then where do they put that value? They put it into their work.”


She continued, as her show’s producer Lin-Manuel Miranda and friend Busy Philipps cheered her on. “And so the next time a woman, and especially a woman of colour, 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 may 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.”


The Golden Globe winner wrapped up her speech to a roaring ovation while dedicating the award to her daughter, Matilda