“We don’t have equal rights for women in America,” she said bluntly backstage in front of reporters. “When they wrote the constitution, they didn’t intend it for women… There are huge issues at play that affect women.”
On stage, after running down a list of thank-you’s heard often over the past few months — her famous siblings, director Richard Linklater and costar Ethan Hawke — Arquette surprised at the end of her speech by invoking the journey of her single-mom character in “Boyhood.”
“To every woman who gave birth, to every citizen who has paid taxes … this is our time to have wage equality and equal rights for women,” Arquette said.
The message was carried on as she took to a microphone for the second time after her win. Arquette spent time shouting out her charity, GiveLove.org, which funds sanitation projects around the world, while simultaneously calling out shallow red carpet questions like “Who are you wearing?”
“My dress was designed by my best friend [Rosetta Getty]… Instead of getting a manicure, which I was supposed to do this morning for that dreaded Mani Cam, instead, I ended up trying to pull pictures because we started a sweepstakes this morning for our charity to do ecological sanitation in the world,” she said.
Arquette said she did not see the moment — which has since gone viral — of Meryl Streep applauding her acceptance speech, though she did give the acting legend a huge afterwards.
“She’s the queen of all actresses, patron saint of actresses,” Arquette complimented the “Into the Woods” actress, who was nominated in the same category.
Arquette got into specifics about the lawmaking proess that would have to be changed in order for there to be true equality for women in the country, and refused to take the bait when one reporter tried to ask her to call out ex-Sony boss Amy Pascal for paying women lower wages than their male counterparts, as exposed in leaked e-mails during the Sony hacking.
“We need federal laws that are comprehensive,” Arquette said rather than call out anyone in particular. “People think we have equal rights; we won’t until we pass a Constitutional amendment in the United States of America where we pass the ERA once and for all and women have equal rights in America we won’t have anything changed.”