Patricia Arquette, Oscar winner for best supporting actress for her role in Boyhood declared ‘It’s our time to have wage equality’ at the end of her acceptance speech.
Arquette was awarded her first Academy Award for her role in Boyhood, in which she plays Olivia, the mother of Mason, in a performance filmed over 12 years.
After paying tribute to her cast members and family, she concluded her speech: “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.”
Equal pay is generating controversy throughout Hollywood, similar to the rest of America. The hacked Sony emails revealed inequality between pay of men and women in Hollywood.
Similarly, the UK is increasingly becoming a worse place for women to work, since 2006 the UK has dropped from 9th to 26th place in terms of gender equality. While the average earnings of men and women in the UK has narrowed, women working full-time earn an average of £462 a week compared to £558 for men.
This shows the urgency for all employers to be transparent about why they pay staff what they pay, revealing any differences between the wages of male and female employees. Equal pay campaigners believe transparency in pay is the first step towards closing the gender gap.
This wasn’t the only feminist moment of the night, Reece Withersoon used the Oscars to publicise the #AskHerMore campaign, to discourage the question “What are you wearing” and persuade reporters to ask women about other endeavours.
The speech was greeted with cheers, inducing Meryl Streep’s igniting applause. Others also expressed their satisfaction with Patricia Arquette’s speech on social media.