Boyhood girl power! Patricia Arquette used her moment in the spotlight at the 2015 Oscars to make a plea for women’s rights — a call to action that earned an enthusiastic response from fellow nominee Meryl Streep and presenter Jennifer Lopez.
Accepting the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar from last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto, Arquette began by thanking the Academy and acknowledging the other nominees in her category, Wild‘s Laura Dern, The Imitation Game‘s Keira Knightley, Birdman‘s Emma Stone, and Into the Woods‘ Streep. She went on to praise the Boyhood cast and crew before turning her attention to women’s rights.
“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 our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” she declared, to loud applause from the crowd inside Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
Cameras then panned to Streep and Lopez in the audience, who showed (and screamed!) their approval. Streep yelled, “Yes!” and then pointed at Arquette in support, while Lopez, who was sitting to her left, clapped wildly and let out a little “Woo!”
Arquette’s plea comes just a few months after documents from the headline-making Sony hack revealed a stark gender pay gap in Hollywood. According to The Daily Beast, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams earned less than their male costars for the 2013 Oscar-nominated movie American Hustle.
“I run a business,” fired Sony exec Amy Pascal said recently when asked about the disparity. “People want to work for less money, I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and go, ‘Can I give you some more?’ The truth is, what women have to do, is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs.”