Michelle Williams Wins First Emmy for 'Fosse/Verdon,' Gives Powerful Speech About Pay Equality
Michelle Williams is now an Emmy Award-winning actress!
During Sunday's star-studded awards show, the former Dawson's Creek star won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her portrayal of multi-talented Broadway dancer/choreographer/singer Gwen Verdon in FX's Fosse/Verdon. This marks Williams' first Emmy win.
"Thank you so much ... we've worked so hard to make this TV show," she said in her acceptance speech. "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 her needs and is respected enough to be heard."
"Thank you so much to FX," she continued, "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 where do they put that value? They put it into their work. And so 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. 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."
"When you put value into a person, it empowers them to get in touch with their own inherent value. And where do they put that value? They put it into their work." - Michelle Williams' acceptance speech at the #Emmys for #FosseVerndonFX, thanking Fox21 TV for equal pay. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/tK6VdYFgbP— Miss Representation (@RepresentPledge) September 23, 2019
Back in April, ET spoke with Williams at the New York City premiere of Fosse/Verdon, where she explained what went into preparing for the role and her highly anticipated return to TV.
"It's a lot," Williams, 39, confessed. "I mean, you start researching as soon as you get the part. There's, like, one good moment when you get the job and then the panic sets in and you go to work."
"It was pretty much, like, the longest job of my life," she added. "We just wrapped [filming] a couple of weeks ago, and we started in August. It was physical in not just the dancing, but in aging and figuring out how to physically change somebody from 29 up to 64 -- figuring out how that would affect their body."
Luckily, Williams received some assistance from Verdon and Bob Fosse's only child together, Nicole Fosse, who served as the show's executive producer and creative consultant.
"She was really instrumental for me, emotionally and from a research perspective," revealed Williams, who made her own Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Cabaret. "And as a friend, as a mother and somebody who was there as a child while all this was happening and now has adult eyes on it. She meant the world to me."
Hear more in the video below.