After crediting her success portraying legendary Broadway dancer Gwen Verdon to the people behind the scenes who gave her access to the tools she needed in order to be the best she could be — everything from dance and voice lessons to better prosthetic teeth — Williams connected the dots between a welcoming work environment and the work that gets produced in said environment.
“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,” she said. “And then where do they put that value? The put it into their work.”
Williams, who has been an outspoken and key member of the Time’s Up movement since its inception, further illustrated her point with one particularly disheartening statistic that plagues the gender pay gap: “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 actress has used her platform to champion equal pay in the past. She unwittingly became a poster-woman for the the cause when news broke that during reshoots for 2017’s All the Money in the World, she took home $1000 dollars, while co-star Mark Wahlberg earned $1.5 million. (Wahlberg donated his paycheck to Time’s Up when he learned of the discrepancy in their compensation.) Williams has even gone so far as to take her story to Capitol Hill in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act. And luckily for all of us, it seems like Williams will keep telling this one until real progress is made.