Inclusion Rider? Here's What Frances McDormand Was Referring To In Her Oscars Speech

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March 5th 2018

After Sunday night's Oscars, many people are wondering what Frances McDormand meant by "inclusion rider" in her acceptance speech for Best Actress.

She said, "We all have stories to tell and we need finance. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days – or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best – and we’ll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: ‘inclusion rider.’”

So, what exactly is an inclusion rider?

In layman terms, an inclusion rider is a clause in someone's contract for them to increase diversity on projects they are on.

After her speech, McDormand said backstage that actors can "ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity" in both casting and crew. Actors can request an inclusion rider in their contract.

Also referred to as an "equity rider," the term was created by a University of Southern California professor, Stacy Smith, civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal and producer/actor Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni. Smith referenced it during a TED Talk in 2016 in which she talked about new ways that women, minorities, people with disabilities and LGBT talent, in front of and behind the camera, could get more opportunities in the film industry.

Director and writer DeMane Davis directing Rutina Wesley in an episode of 'Queen Sugar' Director and writer DeMane Davis directing Rutina Wesley in an episode of 'Queen Sugar'

You can watch McDormand's backstage speech below:

by Shadow and Act on March 5th 2018
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