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A Growing List of Hollywood Stars Committing to Equality

"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: 'inclusion rider.'"

When Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress, she used her acceptance speech as a rallying call to Hollywood. She invited her fellow female nominees to stand in solidarity, let out a terrifying cackle and finished with two words that prompted a wave of Google searches and explainer articles. “Inclusion Rider: look it up,” she said.

McDormand explained the term to reporters backstage after her win: “To everyone that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity in not only in casting but also the crew. The fact that I’ve just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business… we’re not going back.”

Will these two words actually impact inequality in the film industry? They might. We’ve rounded up a list of the Hollywood stars who have made a public pledge to adopt the inclusion rider in their projects. Here’s hoping the list continues to grow.

Michael B. Jordan

“I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of colour throughout my career,” the Black Panther star captioned an an Instagram post, announcing that his production company, Outlier Society, will be adopting the inclusion rider for all future projects.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Hollywood’s favourite Boston bros, each came under scrutiny during the #MeToo reckoning: Affleck has faced multiple allegations of groping and Damon was criticized for making insensitive comments about the movement. They aren’t the perfect allies, but this shouldn’t discount the commitment they’ve made to diversity and equality.

On behalf of Damon, Affleck and their production partners, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni tweeted that Pearl Street Films — which produced Manchester by the Sea and Jason Bourne — would use the inclusion rider for future movies.

Dee Rees

Oscar nominated Dee Rees, who directed and co-wrote Netflix’s Mudboundtold Buzzfeed News: “A lot of people of colour have been doing that for a long time unofficially, and demanding a certain number of people on set be people of colour. It’s making your sets look like the world, at a minimum. And it’s not just about tokenism, it’s about talent. That’s the exciting thing. People with the ability and the ambition can have opportunities that are commensurate with who they are.”

Brie Larson

Almost immediately after the Francis McDormand’s Oscars speech, Brie Larson — another Oscar winning actress who made a loud political statement on the Dolby Theatre stage — tweeted her commitment to the inclusion rider. She tweeted her pledge with a link to a 2014 column in The Hollywood Reporter, in which Stacy L. Smith introduces an early interpretation of the inclusion rider, suggesting that the film industry adopts the NFL’s Rooney Rule for women.

Paul Feig

Paul Feig, the director behind Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters, and The Heat, tweeted that his company, Feigco Entertainment, will be adopting inclusion riders going forward. He challenged other companies to do the same.

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