Democratic Lawmakers Love Patricia Arquette’s Equal-Pay Oscar Speech

The gender wage gap has remained unchanged since ‘Boyhood’ began filming in 2002.

Patricia Arquette
National Journal
Feb. 22, 2015, 6:21 p.m.

Wash­ing­ton Demo­crats joined a very ex­cited Meryl Streep in prais­ing Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette for her Academy Award ac­cept­ance speech, which turned polit­ic­al on Sunday night.

“To every wo­man who gave birth — to every tax­pay­er and cit­izen of this na­tion — we have fought for every­body’s equal rights,” said Ar­quette, after she won an Oscar for best sup­port­ing act­ress for her role in Boy­hood. “It is our time to have wage equal­ity once and for all, and equal rights for wo­men in the United States of Amer­ica.”

Demo­crats took to Twit­ter to ex­tol Ar­quette’s re­marks.

In the House:

In the Sen­ate:

And in the ad­min­is­tra­tion:

Last fall, Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans blocked a bill that would have helped bridge the pay gap between men and wo­men. The le­gis­la­tion would, among oth­er things, pro­hib­it em­ploy­ers from re­tali­at­ing against em­ploy­ees for dis­clos­ing their wages, and al­low work­ers to sue over wage dis­crim­in­a­tion. The meas­ure has failed three times since 2012 and isn’t ex­pec­ted to move for­ward in this Con­gress.

The film in­dustry’s gender pay gap was thrust in­to the spot­light late last year, when the Sony En­ter­tain­ment hack re­vealed fe­male act­resses were paid less than their male co-stars. Na­tion­wide, wo­men make 78 per­cent of men’s earn­ings, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­ic­an As­so­ci­ation of Uni­versity Wo­men. The wage gap between wo­men and men has re­mained un­changed since 2002, when Boy­hood began film­ing.

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