Actress Patricia Arquette stoked the fires of controversy during her acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 87th Annual Academy Oscar Awards, held in Hollywood, California, on Sunday.
Clutching her Oscar, a symbol of the last bastion of white privilege left in Hollywood, Arquette demanded that black women and gays fight for the equal gender rights of white women.
"It's our time to have equal rights and equal wages for the women of America," she said, as actresses Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez leaped to their feet to cheer her.
But backstage in the press room, Arquette said black people and gays should lead that fight for gender equality for women since, presumably, we black lesbians are already equal.
"It's time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It's inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don't. One of those superior court justices said two years ago in a law speech at a university that we don't have equal rights for women in America and we don't because when they wrote Constitution, they didn't intend it for women. So the truth is even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America right under the surface there are huge issues at play that really do affect women. It's time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now."
Arquette's exclusionary statement couldn't have come at a worse time -- when not a single black person was nominated for a major award. Her demands drew ire and scorn from black lesbians.
User "fanon" on gossip message board LipStick Alley wrote in the comments section:
Hold up a second. I'm lost. Who is she talking about? Because if memory serves me correctly, white "suffragists" Elizabeth Stanton gave Frederick Douglass the boot and hitched their skirts to white supremacists because they didn't want black men to have the right to vote before THEM. Their selfish behinds weren't thinking about helping others. They USED people of color as stepping stones to propel THEIR selfish wants.
Photo: Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com