Best Actress Frances McDormand talks Inclusion Rider before global Oscars audiences

Monday, 5 March, 2018

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.



Toxicity proxy for NRA – First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Cut Ties With the NRA

Friday, 23 February, 2018

Seems like an interesting proxy for the toxicity of National Rifle Association (NRA)? Can this perhaps be the end of the beginning for the NRA? Time will tell.

CNBC, “First National Bank of Omaha and car rental company Enterprise bail on NRA after customer outcry

Car rental company Enterprise and First National Bank of Omaha have severed their relationship with the National Rifle Association.

First National Bank of Omaha said Thursdsay it will not renew a contract to issue its NRA-branded Visa credit card.

“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a bank spokesperson told CNBC. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”

The website advertising the card disappeared on Wednesday, less than one day after advocacy group ThinkProgress reported the bank’s support of the pro-gun lobby. The bank and car rental company were used by the NRA to promote its membership through discounts and bonus deals.

CNN, “First National Bank of Omaha will stop issuing NRA Visa card

AdWeek (Brand Marketing), “A Major Bank and 3 Car Rental Companies Cut Ties With the NRA – First National Bank of Omaha and Enterprise Holdings have ended their programs

I LOVE Norman Rockwell and you can’t be more America than NR! This play on a famous painting really shows how ridiculous the idea of arming teachers is!

20180223 NRA x Norman Rockwell

2018 Feb 23, 2:25pm update: WaPo “#BoycottNRA: Hertz is the latest company to cut ties with gun lobby as movement gains steam

Hertz Tweet: “We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.

MetLife Tweet: “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA.

Symantec Tweet: “Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Avis tweet: “… effective March 26, Avis and Budget will no longer provide the NRA member discount.~Susan

2018 Feb 25 Update: WaPo has a great article with detailed timeline of the falling of the dominos, “NRA lashes out at boycott movement as United, Delta and other corporations cut ties

Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United airlines on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.

But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days. […]

First National Bank of Omaha, one of the largest private U.S. banks, may have been the first to respond publicly to the boycott calls. The bank had previously advertised the “Official Credit Card of the NRA,” according to the Omaha World-Herald — a Visa card with 5 percent back on gas and sporting good purchases.

2018 Feb 25 update: CNN, “Opinion: The NRA’s worst nightmare is here

2018 Feb 28 update: CBC, “Walmart, Dick’s restrict gun sales as corporate America does what Congress hasn’t – Relatives of mass-shooting victims encouraged by Dick’s decision to stop selling assault-style rifles


Molly’s Game – insightful interviews, TIFF Q&A, and trailer

Sunday, 7 January, 2018

I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game (starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera). Love how Sorkin saw and got more out of Molly Bloom‘s stories than just those in her book “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World”. (note: this Vanity Fair article is worth reading, “Inside the Viper Room: Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Poker Game“) Here is a trailer and then a ton of in-depth interviews, TIFF Q&A, and other insightful clips that I have or plan to watch. Enjoy!


DP/30: Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Jessica Chastain

DP/30 Abbreviated Chat: Molly’s Game, Idris Elba

Molly’s Game – TIFF World Premiere Q&A – Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Chastain Read the rest of this entry »

Cybersecurity of Voting Machines

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
Dr. Matt Blaze's House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Dr. Matt Blaze’s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

#VotingMachines #eVoting It worries me that some form of e-voting was used in last Calgary municipal elections and more are being studied to be potentially used in the future. (Case of I don’t know enough.) As someone who has been following e-voting and development of secure voting machines for decades (a company I used to work for had a team that develop e-voting system), I have my serious reservations with e-voting and voting machines and want all levels of Canadian governments (city, provincial, federal) to study slow and proceed very very very carefully!

To learn more, I’m watching UPenn’s Dr. Matt Blaze‘s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Cybersecurity of Voting Machines (26m45s)

More of Dr. Blaze‘s testimonies here at these timecodes: 35m30s ; 54m19s ; 1h5m56s ; 1h30m30s ; 1h44m02s ; 1h48m25s and following individually video links to specific timecode segments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion Exhibits – Thinking of Bill Cunningham

Friday, 3 November, 2017

If things work out and time permits, I’m looking forward to visit a few museums’ fashion exhibits featuring the likes of Mariano Fortuny (checking out Fortuny‘s famous Delphos gown up close). And I’m real excited and ready to be overwhelmed by a massive Christian Dior collection! With these fashion thoughts in my mind, I can’t help but imagine what if the late Bill Cunningham was still alive, how cool would it be to be a fly standing on the shoulder of Bill and listen to his thoughts and insights when he check out these exhibits! Miss you still Bill!

P.S. As part of my research to write this post, I found an hour long interview with Bill. Enjoy.

(Hour long 2003 interview with) New York Times Photographer Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham: Words of Wisdom (a nice excerpt I found online last year)



2017 November Random

Wednesday, 1 November, 2017

* CBC News, 2017 Nov 7, “Party crasher – Donald Trump delivered Republicans the presidency and both houses of Congress. That gift may prove fatal to the GOP” (very insightful and worth a read)

* Say this often and with love: “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME.” – Joanne Woodward (1930 -) (ref: 2017 Oct WaPo, “Paul Newman’s Rolex — with a telling message from his wife — fetches record $17.8 million“) (Just added this to my long list of Quotes I Love as we need a good dose of love in our crazy world.)


P.S. No idea Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward would get married later in life when I watched “The Long, Hot Summer” (trailer) but I thought their chemistry in the film were awesome!

The Life and Legacy of Chief Justice Earl Warren (Earl Warren)


Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

New York City to me is a readymade! The beauty about New York City is co-existence and tolerance and sharing.” “Fences can be solid as a wall. But many fences you can see through. You can have hatred or admiration about the other side.” – Ai Weiwei (Vimeo video @1:47 & @2:42) (ref Public Art Fund) (Adding this to my long list of Quotes I LOVE)

PAF40: Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (here is a Public Art Fund link to donate any amount small or big)

P.S. Thrilled to have made a tiny contribution to Public Art Fund for this project. “A small act is worth a thousand Facebook Likes.”  as I like to say.

2017 Nov 6 Update: TimesTalks | Ai Weiwei (2017/10/16)

This is a cool one because they knew each other for so long. 2014/10/29 Ai Weiwei talks with Evan Osnos – The New Yorker Festival (interview with Evan Osnos)


%d bloggers like this: