HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Frances McDormand accepts Best Actress for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
McDormand used her acceptance speech to recognize all the women nominated for awards in this year’s Academy Awards ceremony and to alert producers that going forward, she would be asking for something else in contract negotiations.
“I have two words for you: inclusion rider,” McDormand said.
It’s not a phrase many are familiar with. An “inclusion rider” is a demand that can be part of an actor’s contract if they wish. It is a clause attached to the contract that requires producers of the film to reach a certain level of diversity when hiring the cast and crew.
For those of you asking about the #InclusionRider, it's designed to ensure equitable hiring in supportive roles for women, POC, the LGBT community, & people w/disabilities. #DrStacySmith worked with @KalpanaKotagal to craft the language. Contact us to learn more.
Smith told The Guardian that she had already worked on the language to be used in contracts for actors who are interested in inclusion riders.
“The typical feature film has about 40 to 45 speaking characters in it,” Smith said. “I would argue that only eight to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story. The remaining 30 or so roles -- there’s no reason why those minor roles can’t match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place. An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live.”