Although Patricia Arquette was a shoe in to win an award for her role in Boyhood, a movie filmed over 12 years, nobody expected her speech to end in a call-to-arms.
Arquette threw in some politics in her acceptance speech when she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and everyone- especially Meryl Streep- is absolutely in love with it.
The speech started simple enough. Arquette thanked friends, family, cast members, and even called her boyfriend Eric White, “my favorite artist in the world.” But as it went on, the message changed. At the end of her passionate speech, she concluded with, “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
The crowd roared at her speech, with Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez jumping out of their seats and waving their arms.
Though it may not seem like it, Hollywood follows the rest of America when it comes to pay. Generally women tend to make 77% of what men do. In the hacked Sony emails, it was revealed that the male stars were paid 9% of the profits from American Hustle, while their female co-stars such as Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid 7%.
While Arquette was backstage with her Oscar, she repeated her cal for equality, saying: “It is time for us. Equal means equal.”
“It is inexcusable that celebrities traveled the world preaching equal rights when at home “under the surface” women, gays and people of color struggled to be treated equally,” she said.
In her speech, she demanded for a constitutional amendment, of federal laws, to end discrimination. Without this, she said, “Otherwise “we won’t have anything change”.
The speech was immediately praised on social media, though some predicted that it could earn Arquette a rightwing backlash.
It was the second feminist moment of the night, after Reece Witherspoon promoted the trend #AskHerMore, a movement designed for the media to ask female actors on the red carpet more substantial questions than the usual “What are you wearing?”, and “What diet are you using?”.