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Television

Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams didn’t make an Emmys speech about pay equity, OK?

Destiny’s Child
Michelle Williams, left, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland perform as Destiny’s Child.
(Raven Varona)

Michelle Williams made a rousing speech about pay equity at Sunday’s 71st Emmy Awards. No — not that Michelle Williams.

Destiny’s Child singer Williams went live on Instagram to ask people to please stop confusing her with “Fosse/Verdon” star Williams, who, while accepting the 2019 Emmy for lead actress in a limited series, advocated for fair wages for women and “especially” women of color, drawing rapturous applause. Critics of the actress’ speech, however, have since filed their complaints on social media, but some have found the wrong recipient.

“When you go and tag, look and see in that little, small hole — in that little, small profile — you’ll see a black girl, all right?” musician Williams said on her live feed. “Observation is so important. Observe that profile pic before you get to tagging me and cussing me out for something I didn’t say.”

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Actress Williams’ message was just one of many Emmys standouts that prompted standing ovations, including Billy Porter’s historic win for actor in a drama series for “Pose,” final farewells from the casts of “Veep” and “Game of Thrones,” and Jharrel Jerome’s victory for actor in a limited series for portraying one of the teens wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case in “When They See Us.”

“I want to say thank you so much to FX and 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?” Williams said onstage. “They put it into their work.”

Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams accepts the Emmy for actress in a limited series for her work on “Fosse/Verdon.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

While singer Williams was determined to separate herself from the actions of her name-twin — whom she sarcastically called her “namesake” — she did go on to praise the other Williams for her words.

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“I stand behind Michelle Williams on her speech, OK?” the “Say Yes” artist said. “She was beautiful. She was brilliant, honey. She played Gwen Verdon to a T. She was awesome. Now, get it right, and stop cussing me out.”


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