It was bound to happen. In fact, keen Oscar-watchers have come to expect it: that moment when Hollywood's love-fest spills onto the front pages. When Patricia Arquette
took to the stage Sunday evening to pick up an Oscar for her performance in Boyhood
, she ignited a standing ovation and plenty of conversation as she decried the nation's gender wage gap:
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation,” Arquette said during her speech, “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.”
And indeed White House economists point to data that shows women get paid 77 cents for every dollar given to men—that, in spite of the Equal Pay act of 1963. The Pew Research Center adds that African-American women are paid 64 cents on the dollar and Latina women get 56 cents on the dollar.
Arquette, backstage after receiving her Supporting Actress Oscar, said, "Equal means equal. And the truth is, the older women get, the less money they make."
Meanwhile, previous-Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon got more than a few people talking by tweeting out #AskHerMore
, an initiative launched to encourage entertainment journalists to start asking actress about their work rather than their gowns. "We are more than just our dresses," tweeted Witherspoon.