Watch Michelle Williams' positive, impassioned Emmy speech on women and equal pay
Twitter / The Hollywood Reporter

Actress Michelle Williams earned a standing ovation for her acceptance speech at the 2019 Emmy Awards, both in the Microsoft Theater in L.A. and among viewers online.

As she accepted her first Emmy award for Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie for her role in FX's "Fosse/Verdon," she praised the studios who produced the show for supporting her in everything she needed for the role—including making sure she was paid equitably.


"I see this as an acknowledgment of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feel safe enough to voice them, and respected enough that they'll be heard," she said.

She explained how being provided what she needed in order to do her job empowered her to do it well. "When I asked for more dance classes, I heard 'yes,'" she said. "More voice lessons, 'yes.' A different wig, a pair of fake teeth not made out of rubber, 'yes.'"

"All of these things, they require effort and they cost more money," she said. "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."

RELATED: Why Amy Adams' silence on equal pay in Hollywood speaks volumes for workers' rights

They also supported her with equal pay, she said, a shout out that prompted nods and cheers from her fellow actors and actresses.

"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. 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."

The gender pay gap in Hollywood has been well-documented. A 2016 Forbes article broke it down in detail, sharing how female stars are consistently paid less than male stars.

"The earnings disparity is even worse for women of color," the article states. "While, on average, women in this country make an average of 78% of their male counterparts, African American and Native American women make 64 cents and 59 cents, respectively, for every dollar made by white men, and Hispanic women earn just 56 cents to a white man's dollar."

RELATED: When she learned about the wage gap, she didn't whine. She did something about it.

Statistics are naturally varied, as studies vary in how they determine pay equity. Some studies show a smaller gap, while others show larger ones. But one thing is clear: It doesn't seem to be getting better. For example, a 2018 study showed that women across the board earn 49 cents for every dollar men earn. A more recent Forbes article states that the top 10 highest paid actresses made just 30 cents on the dollar compared to the top 10 highest paid actors.

It's easy to point to the high salaries of famous people and ask why they would ever complain. But inequity is inequity, regardless of industry. Good for Michelle Williams for celebrating her positive experience with this show and imploring other studios to follow that example.

Watch her speech here:

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less