The Nightly Show's Panel of Black Women Responds to Patricia Arquette


Larry Wilmore welcomed a panel of all black women on Thursday night’s edition of The Nightly Show to tackle, among other topics, Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech about wage equality.

In the press room after the Oscars, Arquette notably elaborated on her acceptance speech, telling the media, “It’s time for all the women in America and all the men who love women and all the gay people and people of color we’ve fought for to fight for us now.”

You may recall that the whole thing sparked a little controversy!
One could give Arquette the benefit of the doubt with her statement, but the fact is that her immediate privilege garbled her meaning at the time. How about offering a platform for women of color to address this speech instead of telling us what we should think?

The Nightly Show did that, with a panel featuring Fordham professor/author Christina Greer, show creator/author Issa Rae, New York Live co-host Jacque Reid and comedian Marina Franklin. In response to Arquette’s speech, Greer went way back and brought up the New Deal, breaking down the persisting wage inequality among black and white women.

“We know with Patricia Arquette, when she says ‘women,’ she actually means white women,” says Greer. “She said later on something about black women.”

Their discussion about women in the workplace also touched on the word “bossy” and the myth of the angry black woman. Wilmore showed a clip from Scandal where Papa Pope hassles Olivia about being “twice as good as them to get half of what they have.”

“Do you have to work twice as hard as Carrot Top?” Wilmore asks Franklin.

“I had a white manager tell me one time that she was afraid of me,” says Reid. “I don’t come in with a gun or with gang signs.”

“If I were a white guy, I would rule this world right now,” says Issa Rae. “I’ve had to go the untraditional route because I’ve tried to break in mainstream media wise and I’ve been shut out.”

Addressing the dilemma of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In philosophy for black women, Reid says, “Black women, we been leaning in forever. The problem is that no one is letting us advance for leaning in…We get pushed back.”

The conversation itself is nothing new—these are all things we talk about amongst ourselves—but those views still aren’t fairly represented on a larger platform, so it’s nice to just see some representation and be seen.

The panel also had a good talk on interracial dating, during which Issa Rae joked that, “Black women and Asian men are at the bottom of the dating totem pole.”

Watch it below.

Image via Comedy Central

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