Prominent producers and celebrities like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Paul Feig are jumping on the inclusion rider bandwagon following Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar acceptance speech, the AP reports. Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni said late Monday on Twitter that Damon and Affleck's production company Pearl Street Films would be adopting the inclusion rider in conjunction with USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Early Tuesday, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig followed suit saying on Twitter that his company is also going forward with the inclusion rider for all film and television productions. Feig thanked Stacy L. Smith, the director of USC Annenberg's Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, for her "guidance and inspiration."
McDormand brought new attention to contract addendums requiring studios to hire a diverse crew and cast for a project at the Oscars on March 4; Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan was one of the first to lend his public support to the concept. The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative explained the concept in a December 2017 paper, crediting Smith as having crafted the rider with employment attorney Kalpana Kotagal. But when Pearl Street announced their adoption of the concept Monday, some on social media scoffed. Both Damon and Affleck have in the past five months faced public scrutiny for either comments, in Damon's case, or alleged past behavior, in Affleck's, in the #MeToo era and to some are emblematic of an outmoded entertainment industry. Others called it a step in the right direction.
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