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Michelle Williams calls for pay equality in Emmys speech

Posted in Entertainment

Published on September 29, 2019 with No Comments

Michelle Williams utilised her maiden Emmys win to champion equal pay for women in the entertainment industry.

Williams, who won the Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a limited TV series or movie for “Fosse/Verdon”, said her recognition was an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted and “feels safe enough to voice her needs and respected enough to be heard”.

“My bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honour Gwen Verdon. Thank you so much to FX and Fox 21 studios for supporting me 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. Where do they put that value? They put it into their work,” Williams said in her acceptance speech. 

“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 counterparts — 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 added. 

Her speech earned a standing ovation from the celebrities attending the ceremony at the Microsoft Theater here. 

Williams was nominated along with Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”), Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”), Joey King (“The Act”), and “When They See Us” stars Aunjanue Ellis and Niecy Nash. 

Last January, reports of a significant pay discrepancy between Williams and Mark Wahlberg, her co-star in the film “All the Money in the World”, made headlines. 

For 10 days of reshoots, they were both paid a per diem of USD 80, but Wahlberg received an additional USD 1.5 million. 

A few days after the controversy, Wahlberg and his talent agency made a USD 2 million donation in Williams’ name to a fund aimed at fighting pay inequality.    

During an interaction with the press at the Emmys 2019 backstage, Williams elaborated on her speech saying she always knew it was tough to “feel like you were getting ahead. No matter how many accolades I’d amassed, I couldn’t make that translate into retirement money.”   During an interaction with the press at the Emmys 2019 backstage, Williams elaborated on her speech saying she always knew it was tough to “feel like you were getting ahead. No matter how many accolades I’d amassed, I couldn’t make that translate into retirement money.”  

 

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