Best Actress Frances McDormand talks Inclusion Rider before global Oscars audiences

So far this UK Guardian article gives the most in-depth discussion re Inclusion Rider: “Woman behind ‘inclusion rider’ explains Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech – Professor responsible for concept spotlighted in McDormand’s acceptance speech tells the Guardian how it can boost diversity” (emphasis added)

In an interview late Sunday night, [Dr. Stacy] Smith said she was shocked and grateful to hear that McDormand had given a shout out to her work.

“I’m utterly elated,” she told the Guardian by phone. “It’s a complete surprise.”

Smith said she had worked with attorneys to create specific contract language and has already been in touch with numerous actors interested in the idea.

“The real goal is to counter bias in the auditioning and casting process,” she said, explaining that the contract could also stipulate that if the film ultimately failed to meet the requirements, the distributor would have to pay a “penalty” to a fund that supports female directors and other underrepresented groups.

Smith said A-list stars could use inclusion riders to ensure proper representation and inclusion of women, people of color, LGBT people and people with disabilities.

“The goal is that talent can take the inclusion rider and adopt it in ways that make sense for their values and their beliefs,” she said.

(note: I will include more info re Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism below.)

THR has a good informative article on IR too: “What Is an Inclusion Rider? Frances McDormand’s Oscars Speech Explained

Frances McDormand’s Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Best Actress

Frances McDormand – Oscars – Best Actress – Full Backstage press Q&As (at time code 0:46 VF asks Ms. Frances McDormand to explain the last two words of her acceptance speech “inclusion rider”)

Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism (TED talk with time-coded transcript)

Quoting the Dr. Smith’s TED talk transcript (with emphasis added and updated time code refs)

10:18Second solution is for A-list talent. A-listers, as we all know, can make demands in their contracts, particularly the ones that work on the biggest Hollywood films. What if those A-listers simply added an equity clause or an inclusion rider into their contract? Now, what does that mean? Well, you probably don’t know but the typical feature film has about 40 to 45 speaking characters in it. I would argue that only 8 to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story. Except maybe “Avengers.” Right? A few more in “Avengers.” 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. Now, there’s no reason why a network, a studio or a production company cannot adopt the same contractual language in their negotiation processes.

11:27Third solution: this would be for the entertainment industry, Hollywood in particular, to adopt the Rooney Rule when it comes to hiring practices around directors. Now, in the NFL, the Rooney Rule stipulates that if a team wants to hire a coach from outside the organization, what they have to do is interview an underrepresented candidate. The exact same principle can apply to Hollywood films. How? Well, on these top films, executives and agents can make sure that women and people of color are not only on the consideration list, but they’re actually interviewed for the job. Now, one might say, why is this important? Because it exposes or introduces executives to female directors who otherwise fall prey to exclusionary hiring practices.

2018 March 5 update: @brielarson “I’m committed to the Inclusion Rider. Who’s with me?”

2018 March 8th update: WaPo “She wrote Hollywood’s ‘inclusion rider.’ But she fights for women at Walmart, chicken plants and hospitals, too.” Here is an excerpt,

Kalpana Kotagal tried to stay awake for the Academy Awards, but she didn’t make it.

The mother of two had to be up early on Monday morning to volunteer in her child’s kindergarten class. So she was sound asleep by the time her passion, her life’s work, the thing she fights for day after day, became the buzz of the nation.

Two words uttered by Frances McDormand as she picked up her best actress Oscar: inclusion rider.

Kotagal, the 40-year-old Washington lawyer who actually wrote the contract stipulation McDormand made instantly famous, had no idea she made national news.

“I woke up, and when I picked up my phone, it had all these messages,” she said.

Interviews with reporters from all over the world filled her day (after the gig in kindergarten, of course).

The term “inclusion rider” shot to the top of Google’s most-searched list. It trended on Twitter. An “Inclusion Rider” T-shirt with McDormand’s face on it was being sold online.



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