Michelle Williams received a standing ovation Sunday at the 71st Emmys in delivering a moving speech about pay disparity surrounding gender and race.
The Kalispell, Montana native, 39, won her first Emmy in the Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her portrayal of Broadway dance legend Gwen Verdon in FX’s Fosse/Verdon, dedicating the win to her daughter Matilda Ledger, 13.
Michelle delivered a moving speech that touched on the sensitive topics, less than two years after she was in the headlines amid revelations she made just more than 10 percent of what co-star Mark Wahlberg made for their 2017 All the Money in the World.
Big win! Michelle Williams, 39, received a standing ovation Sunday at the 71st Emmys in LA delivering a moving speech about pay disparity surrounding gender and race
Williams showed her gratitude toward the network for their commitment creatively and financially.
‘My bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon, so I want to say thank you to FX and thank you to Fox 21 Studios for supporting me completely and for paying me equally,’ she said.
‘Because they understood 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 that value into their work,’ she added.
Wahlberg eventually donated the $1.5 million re-shoot fee he received after Kevin Spacey’s ouster from the movie (amid a pileup of sexual misconduct allegations) to the Time’s Up movement in January of 2018.
Ride or die: Michelle’s best friend Busy Phillips clapped for her as she spoke
Feted: The Kalispell, Montana native, 39, won her first Emmy in the Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her portrayal of Broadway dance legend Gwen Verdon in FX’s Fosse/Verdon
Styled: Williams at the event looked amazing in a Louis Vuitton strapless dark green gown with embroidered highlights
Williams brought up racial pay discrepancies in her rousing speech as well, saying, ‘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.
‘Listen to her so that she can succeed because of her environment and not in spite of it,’ she said as the room stood up and applauded.
Williams at the event looked amazing in a Louis Vuitton strapless dark green gown with embroidered highlights.
Credit where it’s due: Williams showed her gratitude toward FX for their commitment creatively and financially to her and the project
In the limelight: Williams was getting massive plaudits for an empowering moment
She wore her blonde locks parted to one side and light makeup on the night she prevailed against a loaded field that included Amy Adams (Sharp Objects), Patricia Arquette (Escape At Dannemora), Niecy Nash (When They See Us), Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us) and Joey King (The Act).
Busy donned a sheer canary yellow gown with her hair dyed pink, clapped tearfully amid Michelle’s rousing speech.
In a backstage news conference, Williams again broached the touchy topic, mentioning how her critical victories were not being reflected in her paychecks, Variety reported.
Pals: Busy shared a selfie in which she and Williams sat side-by-side at the event
Besties: Busy was visibly moved after her pal’s latest career milestone
Drawn together: Busy gave Michelle a firm hug after her empowering speech at the show
Worth the trip: Busy flew from NYC to LA to watch her confidante at the show
‘No matter how many accolades I’d amassed, I couldn’t make that translate into retirement money.’
She said she was keenly aware that if a ‘white woman of privilege’ like her was having troubles, it was only worse for people of color, as ’52 [cents] on the dollar is what a Hispanic woman will make compared to a male.
‘The numbers aren’t out yet for Native women but they expect them to be worse,’ she added. ‘There really won’t be any satisfaction for me until the larger message is heard and that’s what I wanted to point out tonight.’
A beaming Busy later took to Instagram with a selfie of the pair together writing, ‘You’d better believe the light is shining on my best friend tonight BECAUSE SHE’S A STAR.’
Emotional: Busy previously said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of the work that [Michelle] did in this project’
Stiff competition: Michelle beat a field that included Amy Adams (Sharp Objects), Patricia Arquette (Escape At Dannemora), Niecy Nash (When They See Us), Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us), and Joey King (The Act)
Close: Michelle and Busy previously attended industry award shows such as the 2017 Golden Globes and 2017 Oscars
Heated: Busy was descriptive in opening up about the hot temperatures on the night
Hysterical: Busy had a sense of humor about the hot heat at the ceremony Sunday
Temperatures in the low-90s had the show business community sweating as they made their way into the Microsoft Theater earlier Sunday, as Busy was not shy about sharing her discomfort at the sweltering temps in an Instagram Stories post in which she chat about the oppressive heat.
‘It is like 1000 degrees – like people are melting – so if you see the red carpet photos and people are sweating,’ Busy said.
Fox, which broadcast the TV award show, provided water to all attendees and sought to cool things down with large fans blasting in the entrance area, the AP reported.
Busy told US on Saturday that she had to take a cross-country flight to be at the side of her pal.
‘I’m Michelle’s date, of course, and she said she’s getting from texts from people, “Who’s going with you to the Emmys? Busy’s in New York!”‘ she said. ‘And she said, “Well, she’s flying back.” So I’m leaving tonight.’
The close friends previously attended industry award shows such as the 2017 Golden Globes and 2017 Oscars.
‘Michelle’s been nominated for some pretty big awards over the years and we’ve got our routine down,’ Philipps told the magazine. ‘I’ve been so happy to be by her side for all of it and especially for this year with this Emmy nomination for Fosse/Verdon, I’m incredibly proud of the work that she did in this project.’
After party: Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps pose at the Emmys after-party
After party: Williams and Philipps hit up the IMDB Live after party
Busy’s look: Busy Philipps rocked a flowing yellow dress at the Emmy’s