Emmys 2019: Michelle Williams' empowering equal pay speech in full

'Next time a woman tells you what she needs in order to do her job, believe her'

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 23 September 2019 04:40

Michelle Williams received a standing ovation for an empowering speech about equal pay at this year's Emmys.

Williams won Best Actress in a Limited Series for her role in Fosse/Verdon and, in what many people are naming one of the evening's best speeches, praised her bosses for helping her "get in touch with [her] own inherent value".

“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,” Williams said.

“When I asked for more dance classes, I heard yes. More voice lessons, yes. All these things, they required effort, and they cost more money but my bosses never presumed to know better than I did."

She continued: "They understood that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. So the next time a woman, 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, believe her.

"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.”

Elsewhere, Patricia Arquette delivered an emotional acceptance speech after winning Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her role in The Act. She paid tribute to her late sister Alexis and urged Hollywood to hire more transgender actors.

Find a full list of winners here.

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