Patricia Arquette, Michelle Williams & More Use 2019 Emmys Speeches for Causes

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In 2019, Emmy winners didn’t just take the opportunity on the stage to thank their family, coworkers, and agents. Some also spoke out about important causes during their speeches.

It began on the red (purple) carpet. Stars wore gold St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital pins to support St. Jude and honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Also seen on the carpet were blue ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) ribbons.

Check out the Emmy winners who spoke out during their speeches below.

Michelle Williams for Equal Pay for Women

Williams thanked FX and Fox 21 Television Studios for paying her equally after winning for her work in Fosse/Verdon.

“They understood that when you put value into a person, it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value, and then where do they put that value? They put it into their work,” she said. “The next time a woman, and especially a woman of color, who makes 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.”

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Alex Borstein Urged Women to ‘Step Out of Line’

After winning for her work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Borstein spoke about her mother and grandmother.

“They are immigrants — they are Holocaust survivors,” she said. “My grandmother turned to a guard — she was in line to be shot into a pit — and she said, ‘What happens if I step out of line?’ He said, ‘I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will,’ and she stepped out of line. For that, I am here and my children are here. So, step out of line, ladies. Step out of line!”

Jharrel Jerome’s Tribute to the Central Park Five

Jerome won for his work in the Netflix miniseries When They See Us about the Central Park Five, and he said his win was “for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five. To Raymond, Yusef, Antron, Kevin, and King Korey Wise.”

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Patricia Arquette for More Jobs for Transgender Individuals

After winning for The Act, Arquette spoke about her late sister, Alexis Arquette. “I’m so sad I lost my sister Alexis and that trans people are still being persecuted,” she said. “They’re human beings. Let’s give them jobs. Let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere.”

RuPaul Urged People to Vote

“Speaking of voting for love, go and register to vote,” he said while accepting the win for Outstanding Competition Program for RuPaul’s Drag Race.

(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Billy Porter Made History

Porter was the first openly gay African American to be nominated for and win as Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Pose. ““I am so overwhelmed and I am so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day,” he said. “We, as artists, are the people who get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t stop doing that. Please don’t stop telling the truth.”