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Michelle Williams speaks up about equal pay after winning 2019 Emmy for her role in Fosse/Verdon (Photo: @busyphilipps/Instagram)

Michelle Williams Uses Emmy Spotlight to Call for Pay Equality

Michelle Williams just won an Emmy and she used her moment in the spotlight to stand up for women everywhere. (Could we love her any more?)

After scoring the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for her role in Fosse/Verdon, Michelle spoke up about the importance of supporting women at work and pay equality.

“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, Michelle 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” Michelle adds. “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.”

The actress proceeded to thank her own bosses for paying her equally and supporting her needs. She says, 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.”

But it was Michelle’s closing that had us cheering the most: “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 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.”

She ended her speech by dedicating the award to her daughter, “Matilda, this is for you. Like everything else.”

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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