Michelle Williams accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for "Fosse/Verdon". Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Michelle Williams was reprimanded for being "late" to the Emmy Awards.

The 39-year-old actress arrived on the purple carpet at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theatre on Sunday holding hands with her best friend Busy Phillips, but event security were unimpressed by their arrival time.

According to People magazine, Busy and Michelle - who went on to scoop the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for her role in 'Fosse/Verdon' - were stopped by security staff for being "late" but the former 'Busy Tonight' host said: "No, she's nominated. This is Michelle Williams! I think we should get her in her seat."

The pair were then waved through and Busy could be seen looking on proudly and growing emotional when her former 'Dawson's Creek' co-star delivered a passionate acceptance speech about gender equality.

Reflecting on the support she'd had on 'Fosse/Verdon', she said: "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.

"So, the next time a woman ― and especially a woman of colour, because she stands to make fifty-two 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."

And Michelle - who was famously paid much less for reshoots than her 'All the Money in the World' co-star Mark Wahlberg - admitted backstage she'd hoped to win just so she could make the speech.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "You know, when you're sitting there, you're like, 'Win or lose, it doesn't really change anything.'

"Part of me that wanted to win just because I wanted to be able to talk about pay equality. And not about what it's like for me because I have it so much better than so many, but I really wanted to be able to talk about what it was like for most women.

"And so that it -- it's been the great privilege of my lifetime to sort of find myself as the spokesperson for pay inequity."

Bang Showbiz