Patricia Arquette Under Fire For Oscars Acceptance Speech
Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech upon winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role was met with initial praise – most notably by fellow nominee Meryl Streep – but has received ample criticism in the hours following the awards ceremony.
Patricia Arquette’s Acceptance Speech
In her speech, Arquette, who was recognized for playing a divorced mother in Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood, delivered a feminist political message about equal pay. “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” Arquette said. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Arquette’s statements were met with applause from the crowd – and caused Streep and Jennifer Lopez, who were sitting in the front row, to nearly leave their seats with enthusiasm.
— Wonderwall (@Wonderwall) February 23, 2015
While people watching from home began to break down Arquette’s words, she expounded on her points backstage. “It’s time for us. It’s time for women. Equal means equal,” she said. “It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and talk about equal rights for women in other countries when we don’t have equal rights for women in America. When they wrote the constitution, they didn’t intend it for women.”
“The truth is, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are at play that do affect women, and it’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we all fought for to fight for us now,” Arquette continued.
Though well-intentioned, Arquette’s calls-to-action were inarticulate, and thus left room for criticism. While Arquette’s speech confused listeners, as it seemed as though she was ignoring the intersection of certain groups, her comments backstage drove the unfortunate point home. After inevitably learning of the backlash she was receiving, Arquette took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify her position.
“Wage equality will help ALL women of all races in America. It will also help their children and society. Women have been basically paying a gender tax for generations,” she tweeted. “I have long been an advocate for the rights of the #LBGT community. The question is why aren’t you an advocate for equality for ALL women? If you are fighting against #Equalpay you are fighting for ALL women and especially women of color to make less money than men.”