The 2019 Emmys aired last night with some surprising winners in each of the categories, but as with any Hollywood award show, some of the acceptance speeches got political.
Michelle Williams, who won best lead actress in a limited series or movie, for her role as Gwen Verdon on FX’s “Fosse/Verdon”, doesn’t seem to be over the fact that she got paid less than Mark Walhberg during re-shoots of the 2018 movie “All the Money in the World.”
In an apparent dig at the director of that movie, Williams praised FX and Fox 21 TV Studios during her acceptance speech because they paid her the same as her co-star Sam Rockwell.
“I see this as an acknowledgment 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. 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 honor Gwen Verdon. And so I want to say thank you so much to FX and to Fox 21 Studios for supporting me completely and for 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, and then where do they put that value? They put it into their work,” she said in her speech.
“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,” Williams continued. “Believe her.”
The New York Times praised her speech, saying it deserved it’s own Emmy.
"My bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon." #FosseVerdonFX star Michelle Williams thanks her studios during her acceptance speech for lead actress in a limited series https://t.co/WmT1Fmyol4 #Emmys pic.twitter.com/DDF1ONJV7Z
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 23, 2019
After the news broke that Wahlberg received more money for the re-shoots (because he negotiated for more and Williams did not), he donated $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Williams’ name.