Michelle Williams called an 'icon' after powerful speech about women's rights at Golden Globes

Michelle Williams was met with rousing applause from the crowd at the Golden Globes on Sunday night when she made an impactful acceptance speech about women’s rights.

Williams won Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon. It was the first public appearance for the 39-year-old actress since it was announced that she is engaged to one of the FX show’s creators, Thomas Kail. The couple is also expecting their first child together.

While visibly pregnant on stage, Williams spoke about living a life “carved with my own hand” and the vital role that her right to choose has had in that.

“When you put this [award] in someone's hands, you're acknowledging the choices that they make as an actor, moment by moment, scene by scene, day by day, but you're also acknowledging the choices that they make as a person. The education they pursue, the training they sought, the hours they put in. I'm grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I've made and I’m also grateful to have lived in a moment in our society where choice exists because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Williams said. “I've tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over, sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I have carved with my own hand and I wouldn't have been able to do this without employing a woman's right to choose. To choose when to have my children and with whom, when I felt supported and able to balance our lives knowing as all mothers know that the scales must and will tip towards our children.”

Michelle Williams makes a powerful speech about women's rights while accepting a Golden Globe award. (Photo: Getty Images)
Michelle Williams makes a powerful speech about women's rights while accepting a Golden Globe award. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of the presenters, Tiffany Haddish, was heard yelling in support of Williams from behind her on stage, while the rest of the crowd erupted in cheers. The Greatest Showman actress then went on to urge women to acknowledge the importance of their rights while heading into the next election.

“Now, I know my choices might look different than yours, but thank God or whoever you pray to that we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours,” Williams went on. “So, women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote please do so in your own self-interest. It's what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. But don't forget we are the largest voting body in this country, let's make it look more like us.”

People on Twitter immediately started writing in support of Williams as she headed off stage, praising the way that she used the moment to give a platform to an important topic that’s seldom discussed. Some of that appreciation came from the likes of Sarah Silverman, Elizabeth Banks and Time’s Up.

Others acknowledged that it wasn’t the first powerful speech Williams has made.

Williams was said to have given the “best speech ever” back in September while accepting an Emmy award, where she spoke out about equal pay.

“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 said.

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