The former Destiny’s Child member shared a message with followers on Instagram Live after her social media was flooded with comments and criticism directed at the other Williams about her Emmy acceptance speech on Sunday.
“How come when y’all are tagging and congratulating a person, do y’all see that I’m black?” the 40-year-old singer asked, per a video of the live stream saved and shared on Twitter. “When you go to my profile, you search for the ‘Michelle Williams,’ I am black. OK? I ain’t mixed with nothing, I ain’t mixed with Persian, Russian, I am black.”
“So I am trying to figure out why in the world I am getting cursed out in my comments for Michelle Williams’ speech, which I thought was her truth, which I thought was awesome,” she continued. “I thought she was factual — could be wrong — but yeah, I just told a woman a few minutes ago on my Instagram, I was like, ‘I’m so sorry that my namesake upset you, but can’t you see that I’m black?’”
Her namesake, the 39-year-old actress, took home the Emmy for outstanding actress in a limited series or a movie honor on Sunday for her portrayal of Broadway dancer Gwen Verdon in Fosse/Verdon.
The first-time Emmy winner used her acceptance speech to take a stand on the fight for equal pay.
“Thank you so much to FX and Fox 21 Studios for supporting me completely and 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,” Williams said at Sunday’s ceremony. “And then where do they put that value? They put it into her work.”
“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,” she added. “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 had previously opened up about her own fight for equal pay while working on All the Money in the World — finding out she made less than $1000 for scene reshoots while her male costar, Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million.
Despite being frustrated by the mistaken identity, the “Say Yes” singer said she agreed with everything the actress said in her speech.
“I stand beside Michelle Williams on her speech,” the musician said. “She was beautiful. She was brilliant. Honey, she played Gwen Verdon to a T. She was AWESOME.”
“Now get it right, and stop cussing me out,” she added.