Patricia Arquette Clarifies Oscars Equal Rights Remarks Amid Backlash

Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette took to Twitter to clarify and defend her Oscars remarks about equal rights amid backlash on Feb. 23 Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Patricia Arquette has a lot to celebrate — but first she wants to clear a few things up. The Boyhood Oscar winner inadvertently stirred controversy on Sunday, Feb. 22, when she used her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress to champion equal rights for women.

While her remarks on stage earned wild applause from the crowd inside L.A.'s Dolby Theatre — and enthusiastic support from fellow nominee Meryl Streep — her comments in the pressroom weren't as well-received.

"The truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women," Arquette, 46, told reporters after accepting her Academy Award. "And it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now."

That last line, in particular, drew the ire of people on Twitter, who complained that her message was exclusionary and failed to acknowledge any intersections among the groups she singled out.

Conservative actress Stacey Dash also criticized the speech, saying she was "appalled" by Arquette's remarks. "First of all, Patricia Arquette needs to do her history," Dash said on Fox & Friends. "In 1963, Kennedy passed an equal pay law. It's still in effect. I didn't get the memo that I didn't have any rights."

In response to the backlash, Arquette took to Twitter on Monday morning to clarify her comments and defend her feminist stance.

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