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The Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, who has been making the rounds and giving speeches for the last six weeks, decided to change it up for her last pit stop at the podium. Tonight, in her acceptance speech for best-supporting actress for Boyhood, Arquette made a Norma Rae call to arms. Right before the theme music ushered her out, the 46 year-old actress announced: “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” While Hollywood actresses typically command bigger salaries than most workers, the recent Sony hack revealed that there is still a gaping disparity between male and female actors pay days. A-list actresses like Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez immediately cheered her on. Streep stood up and pointed her fingers, while neighbor Lopez was clapping furiously and whooping it up with her best “You go girl!” expression on her face.
It’s not rare for winners to use the podium as a soapbox for political and social causes. This evening alone, Julianne Moore made a plea for Alzhiemers, the Mexican-born director Alejandro Inarritu spoke up about immigration laws in this country, and Graham Moore, the young, openly gay screenwriter for The Imitation Game started his own hashtag storm with #StayWeirdStayDifferent. But Arquette’s rallying cry touched a nerve because despite President Obama’s attempts to champion women’s rights in the workplace, on average, women still only earn about 77 cents on the dollar compared with men. This inspired the always chattering Lena Dunham to tweet: “PATRICIA 4 PREZ.” Actress Emma Watson, who delivered her own game-changing speech on feminism at the UN last fall, tweeted this: “Yes #PatriciaArquette. Yes. Love you.” And transgender rights activist Janet Mock offered up this: #ParticiaArquette brought a feminist message to the #Oscars and #MerylStreep to her feet.
When Arquette headed backstage, she was more than happy to continue her speech, calling for a constitutional amendment to end such inequalities and discrimination. Let’s #AskHerMore, indeed.