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Patricia Arquette: I 'lost' roles after Oscars speech about equal pay for women

A year after audiences heralded Patricia Arquette for an Academy Awards acceptance speech that, in part, stumped for equal pay for women, the Oscar-winning actress said her words came at a heavy personal cost.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Patricia Arquette attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

"I lost or … walked away from [roles]," she told "Entertainment Tonight" while appearing on the red carpet for Sunday's Oscars ceremony. "I know that there was an issue with a couple of things, for sure, because I said something that made it very obvious. But it's OK, because I do believe in karma. And, really, before I said it, I knew there was gonna be some drama, 'cause it would cost people money."

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Last year, while accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, the "Boyhood" star spoke out for the cause. "To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation: We have fought for everybody else's equal rights," Arquette said at the time. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America."

A few months later, that movement gained momentum when fellow Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence penned her own essay about gender-based pay inequity.

Although Arquette said she's received some show-business backlash for her advocacy, the mother of two offered some greater perspective to "Entertainment Tonight." "There are 33 million women and kids that are living in poverty in America, with a full-time working mom," she said. "So, we need to address this and we need to address this right away."

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She added that in just 12 months, they've started to make real progress, especially in California. "Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and Gov. [Jerry] Brown passed the strongest fair-pay law in the country, here in California," Arquette noted, "and that's really significant."

Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.

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