Famous Montana Women: Modern Actress Making Massive Moves for Equal Pay
Today (03/08) is International Women's Day, which is also a part of Women's History Month. We're continuing our series highlighting some of Montana's famous women with one of the most prolific actresses in the United States, and someone who is fighting for equal pay for women in Hollywood. Her name is Michelle Williams.
A Hard-Working Montana Woman
Born in Kalispell, Montana in September of 1980, Michelle Williams remembers a "sense of freedom" from her childhood. When she was 9, her family moved to San Diego, and in 1998, she decided to pursue a career in front of a camera and quit school.
Her movie credentials are nothing short of awesome. Her breakout role was in Brokeback Mountain in 2005, and since then has had roles in Shutter Island, All the Money in the World, and The Greatest Showman among others.
Fighting for Equal Pay in Hollywood
When Williams sat down with Vanity Fair in 2018, it was reported that during re-shoots of scenes in All the Money in the World, she only made an $80 per diem, which only reached around $1,000 but the male lead, Mark Wahlberg made around $1.5 million. She stated that her earning such a low amount of money in comparison to Wahlberg made her feel "devalued."
In the wake of the pay difference becoming public, Williams won an Emmy Award for her performance on Fosse/Verdon. In her speech, she made it known that she would fight for better pay for actresses.
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 counterparts — 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.
- Michelle Williams
Her speech garnered national media attention, and a standing ovation from the crowd at the Emmys.
Another powerful woman in the books, and one to remember too. Her latest film role was in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which was released in 2021. She's still active to this day, and we hope she remains active for a long time.