Patricia Arquette has dismissed claims that she's a privileged actress telling black and LGBT people what to do.
The actress, who won Best Supporting Actress on Sunday night's Oscars for her performance in Boyhood. Arquette issued a rousing speech as she accepted her award, calling for equal pay for women in America, saying that older women were often overlooked and underpaid. Meryl Streep stood up to applaud her.
However, talking backstage, Arquette appeared to urge oppressed groups to fight the corner of older women being underpaid.
Oscars 2015 winners
Oscars 2015 winners
1/15 Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne picks up his award for Best Actor (Robyn Beck AFP)
2/15 Best Actress
Julianne Moore picks up her award for Best Actress for her role in Still Alice (Robyn Beck AFP)
3/15 Best Picture
The cast and crew of Birdman accept their Best Picture Oscar on stage
4/15 Best Supporting Actress
5/15 Best Supporting Actress
6/15 Best Director
'Birdman': Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu accepts the Best Director Award for Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
7/15 Best Screenplay
Birdman: Director Alejandro G. Irritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
8/15 Best Documentary Feature
CitizenFour: Laura Poitras (2nd L) embraces The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald (C), as Mathilde Bonnefoy (R) and Dirk Wilutzky (L) (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
9/15 Best Adapted Screenplay
The Imitation Game: Graham Moore (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
10/15 Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
11/15 Best Visual Effects
Interstellar: Paul Franklin (2ndL) , Andrew Lockley (R) , Ian Hunter (L) and Scott Fisher (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
12/15 Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6: Don Hall (C), Chris Williams (R) and Roy Conli (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
13/15 Best Cinematography
Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
14/15 Best Sound Editing
American Sniper: Alan Robert Murray (R) and Bub Asman (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
15/15 Best Foreign Language Film
Ida (Poland): Pawel Pawlikowski (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
"It's time for all the women in America and all the men who love women and all the gay people and all the people of colour that we’ve fought for, to fight for us now," Arquette said off-stage.
Some feminist, LGBT and racism activists criticised Arquette's off-stage speech. Feminist Roxane Gay led the charge.
I like when people teach me about my communities.roxane gay (@rgay) February 23, 2015
The idea that queers & POC have had their time in the struggle spotlight long enough. Eek. Ma'am. Congrats on yr Oscar tho. You are talentedroxane gay (@rgay) February 23, 2015
On Wednesday, Arquette fought her corner, saying that the struggle she encountered as a young woman meant she was qualified to talk about poverty.
Don't talk to me about privilege. As a kid I lived well below the poverty line. No matter where I am I won't forget women's struggle.Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) February 24, 2015
I was a working single mom at 20. I know how hard it is to pay for diapers and food .Explain why women should be paid less?Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) February 24, 2015
The working poor women of this country have been asking for help for decades. If I have "privilege" or a voice I will shine a light on them.Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) February 24, 2015
A lot of activists shook their heads and said yeah #Equalpay . Yeah, that sucks. No. It's devastating 2 poor women. It is DISCRIMINATION.Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) February 24, 2015
Meanwhile, rumoured presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton during a keynote speech at a women's tech conference in Silicon Valley, California. “I think we all cheered at Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars, because she’s right - it’s time to have wage equality,” Clinton said.