Patricia Arquette Reveals She Lost Work After Calling For End of Wage Gap in Oscars Speech
Jennifer Lawrence also shared her own experience after she wrote a piece for Lenny Letter.
Around this time last year (oh hey, wasn’t it last year’s Academy Awards?), Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood–and in her speech, called for getting rid of the wage gap once and for all (much to the delight of front-row seaters Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, in a moment that was GIFed the world over). You can relive that moment by watching the speech via YouTube below:
That was roughly one year ago. At a private “Dinner for Equality” which Arquette co-hosted with Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, Arquette said that her mention of the gender wage gap contributed to her losing at least two potential acting jobs–but she’s moved on from that. “But it’s not just about acting, and it’s not about me as an actor. I don’t believe this is fair for anybody. I want to live in the America I believe in, that really is fair, that really has possibilities, and really does treat people of all races and all sexes equally.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence–who was also in attendance at the dinner–spoke about the reactions she got after penning a piece for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter newsletter about the same topic.
“It’s weird being a public figure talking about all of this stuff because you put a target on your nose,” she said. “When I wrote that essay I got a lot of support but I also have a Republican family in Kentucky who told me my career was effectively over.”
Lawrence said it’s vital to shed the notion that we live in a post-feminist era. “I don’t know who came up with that term, but it’s the most damaging term that we have, because it’s just not true.”
Noreen Farrell, the director of Equal Rights Advocates, said there are several practices that can be implemented by companies in Hollywood to prevent these wage discrepancies from happening–one of them being the conducting of a payroll audit so there’s indisputable evidence of where the issues are: “I never met an employer who thought they were discriminating on the basis of sex until they did an audit. I think it’s very important for every company, including those in Hollywood, to audit its pay and look at what’s happening.”
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