Patricia Arquette Pens Essay Addressing Oscars Gender Equality Speech Backlash

Patricia Arquette went viral after giving a rousing speech on wage inequality - only to jump off the rails minutes later. [Photo: Getty]

Actress Patricia Arquette became something of a feminist icon at last year’s Oscars, after she demanded equal pay for women.

The “Boyhood” actress was a shoo-in for the Best Supporting Actress award, having already picked up the gong at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, and chose her Oscars acceptance speech to call for an end to the gross inequalities in pay and rights for women in the US.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everyone else’s civil rights,” she said. “It is our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Her passionate speech quickly became a global sensation. [Photo: Tumblr]

Arquette’s impassioned speech sparked a huge reaction from the crowd, as Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez hollered and whooped their approval for the 46-year-old’s comments.

The stars weren’t the only ones to get fired up by the actress. Her comments spread like wildfire and people around the world took to social media to pledge their support for her call to action.

But just as quickly as she was hailed a feminist hero, Arquette destroyed her good work by telling gay people and people of colour that they needed to start fighting for women.

Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez were just two of the female audience members pictures whooping Arquette. [Photo: Tumblr]

Over 10 months later, she’s finally clarified the comments she made in the press room after her rousing acceptance speech. In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Arquette explains that she’s since learned a lot more about feminism.

“I blame myself for my stupid wording that night when I was calling for male activists to have our backs and remember women, to support the women’s movement, and to include women in the conversation,” she wrote. “I was talking about the really devastating consequences of the women’s movement stalling out.”

“Since the speech, I have learned a lot more about the feminist movement and how women of color have been left out of the process,” Patricia wrote. “I understand that more now. I am really sad that I may have added to their feeling of being excluded.

“The issue of pay inequality is really important because experts say it will take 40 years for that gap to close. We don’t have 40 years to wait. “There are tens of millions of single mothers right now in this country, and 75 percent of all low-wage earners are women, many of whom are trying to feed kids.”

In the press room following her speech, Arquette received critiscm for telling gay people and people of colour that they needed to start fighting for women. [Photo: Getty]

Despite her blunder, Arquette’s speech did prompt other celebrities, both male and female, around the world to follow her lead and call out wage inequality.

Since the Oscars, stars such as Emma Watson, Bradley Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Sienna Miller and Jennifer Lawrence have called the film industry out for it and Charlize Theron hit headlines for negotiating equal pay for her role in “The Huntsman Winter’s War”.

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