Patricia Arquette’s impassioned speech about the gender wage gap at this year’s Oscars received mixed reaction and the actress has now clarified her comments that caused controversy.
Arquette received praise from both peers and fans for her speech which she gave while accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but then later received backlash after she suggested gay people and people of colour start fighting for women’s rights.
In an essay for the Hollywood Reporter, Arquette discussed what she has learned since. “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,” she wrote.
Arquette also expressed regret for the “stupid wording” she made during her comments that evening.
“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.”
Arquette pointed out a few statistics, such as wage disparity “costing the average woman USD 400,000” and “75 per cent of all low-wage earners” being women, many of them mothers. Arquette also showed support for the LGBT community. “We also need to hear more about our lesbian sisters and our trans sisters. Our trans sisters are the most likely women to be living in deep poverty, with 15 percent of them making less than USD 10,000 a year. That’s crazy and needs to change.”
The year has seen several other actresses speak out about the wage gap in their industry, such as Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain, Sharon Stone and Jennifer Lawrence.