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Patricia Arquette Updates Her ‘Wage Equality' Oscars Speech

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Photo: Rex
Last February, Patricia Arquette’s impassioned speech about the gender wage gap at The Oscars hushed a whole room of Hollywood’s elite. Initially the speech was deemed necessary, brave and articulate, and received praise from peers and fans alike. Arquette’s rousing oratory ignited a trend and Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain, Sharon Stone and Jennifer Lawrence have all used their positions of influence to address the pay gap issue this past year.

Then Patricia said something not so applaudable, when, post-speech, she suggested that gay people and people of colour should begin fighting for women’s rights. Ten months down the line, and after some reflecting, Arquette has penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter that expresses both regret and a desire to make amends.

"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 said. "I was talking about the really devastating consequences of the women's movement stalling out. It was my own lack of clarity backstage that made some women feel left out or slighted. This of all things makes me sad, because they are my heroes. Since the speech, I have learned a lot more about the feminist movement and how women of colour have been left out of the process. I understand that more now. I am really sad that I may have added to their feeling of being excluded."

Arquette also summons some shocking statistics in her essay, such as wage disparity “costing the average woman $400,000” and the fact that “75 percent of all low-wage earners” are women – a large percentage of whom are mothers. Arquette also showed support for the LGBTQ community. “We also need to hear more about our lesbian sisters and our trans sisters,” she wrote. “Our trans sisters are the most likely women to be living in deep poverty, with 15 percent of them making less than $10,000 a year. That’s crazy and needs to change.”
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