Pundit 'Appalled' by Patricia Arquette's Speech Needs To Do Her Own History

Fox News Contributor Stacey Dash, whom you may remember as the actress who starred with Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, didn't just dislike Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech at last night's Oscar Awards, she said she was "appalled" by it and that the winner of the Best Supporting Actress award "needs to do her history."


Just to recap: the Boyhood star used her time at the podium to both humbly thank everyone she worked with and her amazing family, as well as to draw attention to women's rights and the need for equal pay.

Her words were powerful:

To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!

As a former actress, Dash said she misses the "elegance," "class," and "majesty" of the Oscar's. She also made it known that she "didn't get the memo" that she didn't have any rights and that John F. Kennedy's 1963 Equal Pay Act is "still in effect."

I guess we should take a cue from Dash and "do some history" first.

When Kennedy's act passed, he himself called it the "first step" in our quest to ensure women and men receive equal pay. He acknowledged that it was, in no way, meant to be the final solution. 

Women still earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is only 17 cents on the dollar more than what they took home before the EPA. And the percentage of women in leadership positions is dismal: only 14.6 percent of women hold executive officers positions at Fortune 500 companies.

Why some of us feel the need to continue fighting statistics is anyone's guess. Whom does it benefit?

More from The Stir: Patricia Arquette's Empowering Oscars Speech Wins Standing Ovation From Meryl Streep & Women Everywhere (VIDEO)

It isn't that Dash isn't entitled to her opinion about the Oscar's. There are definitely times when I've rolled my eyes while listening to a celebrity accept an award and talk about a cause while thinking, can't you just be grateful for your award, say thanks, and sit down? I'll admit: I usually think those thoughts when I, simply, don't care for that particular celebrity or his/her work.

But there are two problems here. The first: that kind of thinking is myopic. A celebrity who is passionate about politics or a social problem knows darn well he or she will never find a larger, more captivated audience than at that very moment when millions are watching him or her accept an award. If you were fighting for a cause, wouldn't you jump at the opportunity to publicize it?

Maybe we came to the party expecting pretty gowns and a few laughs, and not to hear about women's rights or anything that takes away from the glam fantasy. But, when we look back in 20 years, we're not going to talk about the gaggle of celebs who looked smashing in Yves Saint Laurent. Arquette's speech will live on.

The second issue I have with Dash's "class" and "majesty" argument: do your history. Arquette was in no way, shape, or form the first celeb to deviate from your typical "thank you" speech:

2009: Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black spoke in favor of same-sex marriage while accepting the award for Milk.

2003: Michael Moore slammed former President Bush while accepting an award for Best Documentary.

1973: Marlon Brando refused to accept a Best Actor award for The Godfather and sent a Native American activist in his place to read a letter he wrote about the mistreatment of American Indians in the film industry.

1972: Jane Fonda won Best Actress for Klute and went off about the Vietnam War backstage.

There are many more. And we needn't go back in history to find them.

At last night's show, both Dana Perry and Graham Moore used their time while accepting awards for Documentary Short Subject and The Imitation Game to share their personal stories about suicide. They were painful to listen to, but refreshingly honest and important to hear.

I don't think the topic of suicide has an elegance that equal pay lacks.

With all of these examples (and then some), does anyone else find it particularly troublesome that Dash chose to focus on Arquette's speech?

What do you think about Dash's comments? Do you agree or disagree?


Image via Splash News




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