Like many other women in her category, including Amy Adams, the award marked Williams' first Emmy nomination (and now win).
Picking up the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for "Fosse/Verdon" Sunday night, the actress used her time to make a statement about pay equality for women in entertainment.
Williams, whose "All the Money in the World" payday made headlines for all the wrong reasons after Mark Wahlberg received substantially more for reshoots, thanked FX for their pay practices and shared a passioned plea for pay equity across the entertainment industry.
"I see this as an acknowledgment of what is possible when a woman is trusted and feels safe enough to voice her needs and respected enough to be heard," Williams began. "When I asked for more dance classes I heard, 'Yes'; more voice lessons, 'Yes'; a different wig, a pair of fake teeth not made of rubber, 'Yes.'"
She added, "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."
Williams then went on to thank the network for her paycheck.
"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 where do they put that value? They put it into their work," she said.
"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," she continued. "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."
Williams won the award over fellow nominees Patricia Arquette ("Escape at Dannemora"), Joey King ("The Act"), Aunjanue Ellis ("When They See Us"), Niecy Nash ("When They See Us") and Amy Adams ("Sharp Objects").
Like many other women in her category, including Adams, the award marked Williams' first Emmy nomination (and now win). She was also nominated as an executive producer for "Fosse/Verdon."
Check out more of our 2019 Emmys coverage here.
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