Frances McDormand won, as predicted, the best actress Oscar for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Her acceptance speech was one of the most engaging ones of the evening—she asked every other woman nominated in every category to stand up. McDormand also ended her speech with a term that puzzled a lot of people: “inclusion rider.” What exactly is an inclusion rider? The internet frantically Googled the term after the speech.
We all google "inclusion rider"
— Lauren FitzPatrick (@bylaurenfitz) March 5, 2018
1000s of people googling “inclusion rider” right now.
— kurt braunohler (@kurtbraunohler) March 5, 2018
[frantically googles "inclusion rider"]
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 5, 2018
Merriam-Webster even tweeted that ‘inclusion’ was the top search word on Sunday night. ‘Rider’ followed close behind.
📈'Inclusion' is our top search on the night, followed by 'cinematography,' 'in memoriam,' 'feminism,' and 'rider.' #Oscars
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) March 5, 2018
Luckily, many people on Twitter did know what inclusion rider meant, and they explained it succinctly. Basically, it’s a diversity requirement for a project.
Inclusion rider is contract speak for a clause that says “I will not sign on to a project unless some percent of the cast and crew” is female, people of color, etc
— kelsey mckinney (@mckinneykelsey) March 5, 2018
Rider! Inclusion rider! A rider on their contract requiring a minimum percentage of POC/women in all the other positions, above the line, below the line. Probably should have an equal pay rider too
— Abby (@abbyinsm) March 5, 2018
An “inclusion rider” is a clause in an actor’s contract that requires the cast and crew be diverse in order to retain the actor. That’s kind of a brave thing to say on such a big stage.
— Phillip Atiba Goff (@DrPhilGoff) March 5, 2018
For everyone who doesn't know what an inclusion rider is according to @Inclusionists
1) target inclusion goals on screen for gender race LGBT and disability
2) below the line inclusion for certain categories
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) March 5, 2018
If you’d like even more information on what an inclusion rider is, social scientist Stacy Smith explains the term in a TED talk from 2016:
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. 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.
Watch the whole talk below: