Count A.J. Lee, a three-time WWE Divas champion and one of the most popular female wrestlers, among those inspired by Patricia Arquette’s Oscars speech pushing for wage equality for women.
The issue has been bubbling within WWE, which has been criticized by fans for giving women wrestlers short shrift on screen time during “Monday Night Raw.” As Buzzfeed points out, a match between Divas Paige, Emma, and The Bella Twins lasted all of 30 seconds in a 3-hour show this week. Against that backdrop, Arquette’s comments after winning the best supporting actress award were a catalyst for Lee.
Her response may have a little more nuanced than those of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez in the audience at the Academy Awards, but she left no doubt that she agrees in a string of tweets aimed straight at the top of WWE management. She started by retweeting WWE’s chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon.
— A.J. (@WWEAJLee) February 25, 2015
Then Lee added in tweets: “Your female wrestlers have record-selling merchandise & have starred in the highest-rated segment of the [Raw] show several times and yet they receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster. #UseYourVoice”
Stephanie McMahon responded:
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) February 25, 2015
And Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of WWE, chimed in:
Lee’s tweets resonated with a number of wrestling fans, whose Twitter responses were directed at her and Stephanie McMahon.
@WWEAJLee I am so PROUD of you for not being afraid to stand up for equal rights! Divas deserve & have earnt right for equal pay & airtime!
— Robert Cruickshank © (@DraconianKatra) February 25, 2015
— A.J. (@voguevirgo) February 25, 2015
— moony. (@baechaeljackson) February 25, 2015