Frances McDormand has gotten plenty of attention one day after her Oscars acceptance speech, especially when she told the audience to remember two words: inclusion riders. Social media reacted soon after, with some folks wondering if Frances had said “inclusion writer” or “inclusion rider,” and what, exactly, she meant by “inclusion rider.” As reported by CNN, an “inclusion rider” is a concept that McDormand had only learned about last week, after being in the entertainment industry for 35 years.
An “inclusion rider” is known in the industry as a contractual clause that actors can add as a condition of hiring, which could include demands for the film or TV show or other projects to include minorities, folks with disabilities, or whatever stipulations they desire to include. For example, a high-powered actress might demand that at least 50 percent of the staff be female workers. Conditions about equality in pay or other factors can be included in an inclusion rider.
The concept of inclusion riders caught on after USC professor Stacy L. Smith wrote about an “equity rider” in 2014 for the Hollywood Reporter. Four years later, the hashtag #InclusionRider is getting a lot of traction on Twitter. Smith’s 2016 TED talk can be seen below, where she spoke about movies having few employees with speaking roles. Stacy argued that the remaining movie roles could go to actors who would reflect the diversity of the region being portrayed onscreen.
Frances noted that although she had just learned about inclusion riders after being in the business for 35 years, she wasn’t planning on going back to the old way that things were done. McDormand explained that issues about women and African Americans simply “trending” online, as if they were something only temporarily surging in interest, wasn’t enough.
McDormand said that inclusion riders will help the concept of people of color and women last beyond a mere trend. Meanwhile, Frances tweeted that she was “committed to the Inclusion Rider,” and asked who was with her in the movement, according to CNN.
Frances also ran into controversy, as seen in the below Twitter Moment, when a man ran away with her Oscar. However, Frances would have her Oscar recovered.