Stacey Dash’s foot just met her mouth. Big time.
“It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all,” Arquette said in her brief speech after she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. “And equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Dash’s response to these empowered words? “I was appalled. I could not believe it. First of all, Patricia Arquette needs to do her history.”
Even more disturbingly, Dash continued, “In 1963, [President] Kennedy passed an equal pay law. It’s still in effect. I didn’t get the memo that I didn’t have any rights.”
This is the point where my face collapses into my hands because her comments are so, so off base.
According to a recent study by the National Partnership for Women & Families, women in the United States are currently paid approximately 78 cents to every dollar a man earns for doing the same job, as reported by Access Hollywood.
And this is not news. Anyone who knows anything about the wage gap knows that. In fact, according to Forbes, the median earnings for women working full-time, year-round have consistently fallen to just 77 percent of men’s earnings for the entire last decade.
And just because successful actresses are making a significant chunk of change, doesn’t mean they aren’t also victims of the wage gap. In fact, the Sony hack last year revealed that Jennifer Lawrence’s backend deal for American Hustle was two points less than her male counterparts, potentially costing her millions of dollars.
In other words, this is a huge problem. And I’m appalled Dash is obliviously appalled by an actress’ attempt to encourage equality where she could reach millions of people.
Watch Dash’s comments below.
Of course, Dash isn’t the only person criticizing Arquette’s speech. But most of the criticism is coming from word parsing rather than broad statements claiming a wage gap doesn’t exist. The point of Arquette’s speech: Equality for all! But especially equality when it comes to wages for women. And that’s a message we should all be cheering.
Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez sure did. The two women were seated next to one another during the glamorous ceremony and both gave a loud cheer and applause for Arquette’s words. Streep even pointed and shouted, “Yes! Yes!”
Check out Arquette’s Oscars speech below.