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Y&R’s Michelle Stafford Clarifies Emotional Emmy Speech Moment

michelle stafford, daytime emmy awards

JC Olivera/Getty Images for NATAS

After her moving acceptance speech at the Daytime Emmys which was held this past Friday night on June 7, where she won the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) took to Instagram to clarify part of what she said.

The actress posted her “need to kill this weird narrative that’s seems to be catching fire regarding the thing that I said to [Executive Producer/Head Writer] Josh Griffith on stage [when I said] ‘thank you for letting me cry in your office.’

“I usually wouldn’t give a sh*t. But I think actually sharing the story with you might be helpful to anyone who is experiencing grief,” she conitnued. “I lost a parent recently. [The actress lost her beloved stepfather, Ed Lee, last March.] It was devastating. But you must carry on with life. You go to work. You take care of your kids….And life does in fact move on. About 10 days or so after his death I had already had a meeting planned with Josh about some questions I had in my story. We were discussing a couple things and every time I talked about my character’s relationship with her children and aspects of how it would play out… this surge of emotion came over me.

“Have you ever been there? After a loss you move on and you’re fine but then maybe you’re talking to, I don’t know, a co-worker or you see something at the market and something triggers some memory and you fall apart? The more you try to stop it the worse it gets. Oh man, it’s horrible. That’s what happened. I found myself weeping in Josh’s office. Like an idiot. Something about talking about Phyllis’s relationship with her kids just did it. I was so embarrassed. I apologized profusely. He did the most human thing. I won’t get into what he said and did but it was quite human. Yes, it’s a workplace, our set. For sure. We’ve all been working together for a long time. It’s a professional environment, but we all really care about each other.

“Sometimes that’s hard for people to understand if they don’t have that kind of work life. Maybe folks out there who are trying to spread a rumor that I ‘cry to get a storyline’ maybe they have a bad work situation. Or a boss who doesn’t even care to listen to them. I don’t know…. All I know is that I’m very honored to work with people I also care about and who I believe care about me. What a gift. What I said on stage was a spontaneous comment to my boss who did something very kind for me. Very human for me. My wish for others is that one day they actually experience a working environment that’s similar.”

Stafford’s co-stars and colleagues were quick to offer their support. “You were in a safe environment and that’s why emotions flow at work,” responded Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren). “What a beautiful thing. You are a beautiful person inside and out.” Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) added, “Love this story (minus your grief of course😢) and love this picture and love you!!!”

Tamara Braun (Ava, Days of our Lives) replied, “Yes, yes and yes. I understand, I’ve been and am there and I am so glad you had that experience with Josh. I hate that you feel you have to justify what you said but it’s beautiful and true. Grief…it bobs and weaves and hits you at times that surprise the hell outta you. Hang in there beauty. It’s love. Love hurts when the form we used to experience it in is no longer the same. Sending you so much love and support.”

Y&R co-star Colleen Zenk (Jordan) offered, “My darling friend… you and [I] have spoken about loss and the enormous grief that follows. It nevers ends. You know how I feel about you. I am beyond thrilled for your Emmy win. You are one of a kind. And all human. And enormously giving… and talented… what a beautiful response. I wish I had the strength to have written something similar many times… love you…”