At the 90th Academy Awards earlier this month, Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress and ended her speech with, “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.” This left plenty of people asking “inclusion wha t?” Two days later, Black Panther thirst trap Michael B. Jordan announced he’d be adding an inclusion rider to future projects at his production company, Outlier Society. Now other actors are following suit.
On Monday, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon‘s production partner Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni announced they — along with Jennifer Todd and Drew Vinton — would be adopting inclusion riders for all future production deals at Pearl Street company.
USC Annenberg’s Stacy Smith proposed inclusion riders in a column at The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. Her aim was to improve diversity in some crew jobs and supporting actor roles when it doesn’t interfere with story sovereignty, financing, or insurance.
No word on whether Affleck and Damon are also applying an inclusion rider to every acting project, or only their production company. Specifics of the rider are also undisclosed at this time. One thing that is inevitable, however, is the endless comments about how the most qualified person should get the job even though, by some astounding coincidence, that person usually looks the same and anyone who doesn’t is accused of stealing the job from a “more qualified” person. Don’t @ me.