Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

“They were dumb enough to make it clear”: Patricia Arquette’s equality Oscars speech has cost her work


Patricia Arquette has revealed that her rousing acceptance speech at the 2015 Oscars, which called for wage equality for every woman, has come with a disheartening price; less acting work in Hollywood.

Speaking at a Tribeca Film Festival event for female filmmakers, sponsored by the #ActuallySheCan campaign, Arquette confirmed that as a result of her speech she has been offered less work and even turned down for acting roles, despite winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress last year.

She also revealed that certain heavyweight producers and executives had made no mystery of the reason behind the rejection, adding: “some were dumb enough to say something that made it clear.”

Patricia Arquette

But despite taking a hit to her career, Arquette says she’s ‘OK’ about the price that has come with standing up for women’s wage equality. What's more, not only is she prepared to take one for the team, but she’s ready to carry on fighting, too.

“I’m OK. with that,” she said of being denied work, before adding: “Sometimes when you’re in a position to make a difference – to be a part of that story is a great thing.

“At my age, it’s a time in my life where I want to do things that make the world a better place for everyone to live in.”

Of how she would deal with the prospect of never working in Hollywood again, Arquette says she’s more than prepared to downsize and change her lifestyle, but luckily, hasn’t had to just yet.

“I thought, I could sell my house, I can downsize, I can live a different kind of way. That’s OK. It’s OK. if I don’t work anymore,” she says. “I would be sad because I want to make art, but if that’s what it takes, I guess that’s what it takes.”

Patricia Arquette

During her Oscars speech Arquette got a standing ovation, whoops and fist pumps from the likes of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. Addressing the packed-out Dolby Theatre, she said:

“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.”

The speech, delivered just after the infamous Sony email hack, prompted others including Jennifer Lawrence to also speak out on wage equality. Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Sienna Miller and more have since taken a stand against unequal pay rates in the business too, helping to bolster conversation around the gender pay gap in more general terms, outside of the movie industry.

At the filmmakers event, Arquette also described the openness that has historically surrounded higher male wages in acting. “I always knew I was paid less than men,” she notes. “They would be very clear about that, sometimes, when they would make offers to you: ‘Well, they’re paying the guy, so they don’t have any money’ – they would say things like that.”

But it seems nothing can dampen the fire for Arquette and her mission to bring about real change where the pay gap is concerned. She’s looking to unify the troops, men and women at all levels, with yet another call to arms.

“When we bring all of our energy together and we’re all bringing what we can to the table, we can have rapid evolution, and that’s what we need to do.

“They talk about the gender pay gap not closing for another 40 years. I mean, who’s got 40 years? I don’t have patience.”



The dad dilemma: do men really have it all?

scarlett johansson cosmopolitan interview relationship advice hollywood gender wage gap.jpg

Scarlett Johansson: talking about the gender pay gap feels “obnoxious”

pay inequality.jpg

The gender pay gap has barely improved over the last four years


Andy Murray backs Serena Williams in sexist pay gap debate


Victoria Wood dies aged 62 following short battle with cancer


Lucy Mangan on the discrimination at the heart of the gender pay gap


“I know I've been paid less than men”: Emily Blunt speaks to Stylist


Charlize Theron clears up Sean Penn ‘ghosting’ rumours


“Fewer women should be allowed to train as doctors” says academic



How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9 step guide

A must-read for all women considering themselves 'good girls'

by Harriet Hall
21 Oct 2016

Totally fetch: Rachel McAdams is on board with a Mean Girls reunion

Shut up.

by Moya Crockett
21 Oct 2016

“Criminalising purchase would be a danger to sex workers”

...argues sex worker and activist, Molly Smith

by The Stylist web team
20 Oct 2016

Eyebrows ahoy... A Cara Delevingne documentary is on its way

The Cara Project will follow Delevingne’s transition from model to actress.

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

The best A-list Instagrams of the week so far

From Emily Ratajkowski's team colours to Mindy Kaling's scarlet style

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2016

Hilary Swank wins Oscars, still offered 5% of a male co-star's wage

Because woman < man

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

Ellen DeGeneres reveals the secret to her happy marriage

And it's brilliantly simple

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2016

Amy Schumer shares open letter to Donald Trump supporters

“I shouldn’t have said that he was an orange, sexually-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall opens up about anorexia battle

“I just wanted to waste away and disappear”

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Kerry Washington chooses old-fashioned name for baby boy

The Scandal star has welcomed her second baby with husband Nnamdi Asomugha

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016