Ricky Gervais kicked off the 2020 Golden Globes by demanding that anyone who wins refrains from political speeches. Almost everyone ignored him. From the numerous references to the ongoing bushfires ravaging Australia to the president inflaming tensions with Iran, the night was filled with speeches that refused to stay inside a bubble. Michelle Williams, who’s known for impassioned awards speeches, defied Gervais, and how.
After winning for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, for playing legendary dancer/actress Gwen Verdon in the FX miniseries Fosse/Verdon, the acclaimed actress did a king of spiritual sequel to her impassioned Emmys speech last fall, in which she spoke out in favor of equal pay. This time she spoke out in favor of women’s rights and this year’s looming election.
“I’m grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I’ve made, and I’m also grateful to have lived in a moment of our society when choice exists, because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Williams said. She continued:
“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 I could stand back and look at and recognize my hand-writing all over — sometimes messy and scrawling, sometime careful and precise, but one I could recognize as my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose.”
“I know my choices might look different than yours,” she said, but “we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith & you are free to live by yours.” She added, “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.”
"Women are the largest voting body in the country. Let's make it look more like us."
— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) January 6, 2020
Williams’ speech was met with rounds of approval.
Michelle Williams Right now pic.twitter.com/TcAoFpglE8
— Director Questlove (@questlove) January 6, 2020
— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) January 6, 2020
Also…Ricky Gervais is a moron for saying don’t mention politics. Michelle Williams just put reproductive rights front and center on national TV which rarely happens in even televised political debates! So thank goodness she did. https://t.co/Fvt5oGaINg
— Lily Adams (@adamslily) January 6, 2020
Michelle Williams is a beautiful person giving a beautiful testament to the complexities of being a woman and why choice and freedom are crucial. Vote in our own self-interest women. Now or never. #goldenglobes2020
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) January 6, 2020
Michelle Williams for the win. Brilliant #GoldenGlobes
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 6, 2020
There was also a lot of love for co-presenter Tiffany Haddish, who didn’t spend Williams’ speech quietly.
Tiffany Haddish yelling approval in the background during Michelle Williams' speech was a heck of a thing. #GoldenGlobes
— Linda Holmes (@lindaholmes) January 6, 2020
There were scores of cutaways to women in the auditorium in tears, but no one was more visibly moved than William’s best friend, Busy Phillips.