Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Patricia Arquette made headlines on Sunday night after using her Oscar acceptance speech to tell women that “it’s our time” to have wage equality and equal rights in the United States. Backstage, the actress’s rally cry expanded to other minorities, calling on them to help support women in their plight.

“It is time for us,” Arquette said after her win. “It is time for women. Equal means equal… The truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America under the surface, there are huge issues that are at play that really do affect women, so it’s time all the women in America and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

Arquette, who basically swept awards season for her role in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, said it was “inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries” when women are still struggling in America. “We need federal laws that are comprehensive,” she said. “People think we have equal rights, we don’t. Until we pass a constitutional amendment in the United States of America or we pass the ERA once and for all, we won’t have anything changed.”

“I never saw this moment of me winning an Academy Award,” continued Arquette, also a philanthropist. “I never even thought I’d be nominated, and I was okay with that. But you know what I did see? I saw many things that have come true in my life, and one of those things was helping thousands and thousands of people, and I have and I will help millions of people.”

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