International Women's Day 2018 - Inclusion rider.


In celebration of International Women’s Day today we want to focus on two women in particular, Frances McDormand & Dr Stacy Smith.

On Monday, Frances McDormand won the Oscar for best actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

In her show stopping acceptance speech she invited all the female nominees for the night to stand with her and continued to explain that they all had stories to tell and projects they need financed. She finished her speech with “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion rider.” And left the stage.


Now if you’re not part of the entertainment industry it’s understandable that you have probably never heard of the term inclusion rider before and you’d be forgiven for that because as it turns out, McDormand only learnt of it recently herself. In an interview backstage she stated "You can ask for or demand at least 50% diversity in not only the casting but the crew. The fact that I just learned that after 35 years in the film business – we aren’t going back"

But what exactly is an Inclusion rider? Basically, it's a clause which is added to contracts to enforce equitable casting and hiring, with financial penalties for failure to comply. It was created by Dr Stacy Smith, the founder of the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, along with Washington lawyer Kalpana Kotagal.

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative performed a study of 1,100 Hollywood films from 2007 to 2017 and found the results astounding and disheartening. It found that only 4% of directors were women, and not only that but 5.2% were black or African-American and only 3.2% were Asian or Asian-American.

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 4.04.43 PM.png

In finding these results, Smith was determined to make a change, and so the Inclusion rider was created. The inclusion rider would mean 50% gender parity for small and supporting roles, as well as Inclusion for people of colour (40%), LGBTQ people (5%) and people with disabilities (20%).

The goal now which seems incredibly attainable with thanks to McDomand; If A-list actors add an Inclusion rider to their contract and lead by example then who’s to say that it ends in Hollywood?

In celebration of International Women’s Day let’s continue to lift each other up and fight for equality, not only for women but for all people.


Watch Dr Stacy Smiths "The data behind Hollywood'd Sexim" Ted Talk below.




Louise GriffinComment