On Sunday night at the Golden Globes, Michelle Williams won the award for best actress in a limited series or motion picture made for TV for her portrayal as Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon—and Williams’ acceptance speech has folks applauding her vocal championing of a woman’s reproductive rights.
In the speech, Williams explained, “I’m grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I’ve made, and I’m also grateful to have lived at 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.”
“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 had 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.”
Williams’ speech comes at a time when many fear that a woman’s right to choose may be compromised or taken away all together. Using her personal experience to highlight how crucial a women’s right to choose is reminds us all of what’s at stake and why we should vote—which is what Williams implored at the end of her speech.
“So, women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote please do so in your self-interest,” Williams said. “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.”
Following her speech, Williams opened up backstage about tackling such a personal issue. “By nature I’m a shy person but I’m about to turn 40 and I realized that over a great span of time, I’ve changed and I’ve become stronger and more able and I’ve found my voice,” she said. “I wanted to be able to because when I know other people use their voice it’s made a difference in my life.”
On Twitter, Williams’ speech was lauded for its honesty and grace.
"I'm grateful for the acknowledgement of the choices I've made & also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists, because as women & as girls things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice," Michelle Williams AGAIN drops truth! #registertovite— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) January 6, 2020
#MICHELLEWILLIAMS is QUEEN!— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) January 6, 2020
Williams is currently pregnant and engaged to Fosse/Verdon collaborator and Tony-winning Hamilton director Thomas Kail. She has a 14-year-old daughter named Matilda from her relationship with late actor Heath Ledger.