Frances McDormand knew what she was doing when she said the words “inclusion rider” during her Oscar speech. Even though people were like “what in the world is that?” at the time, Frances explained it backstage, as she was doing press – an inclusion rider is something production companies and stars can demand contractually, that the productions will have inclusive hiring practices with a gender balance and racial diversity. Michael B. Jordan announced that his production company will be doing inclusion riders from here on out. And now Matt Damon and Ben Affleck want a piece of the inclusion rider pie too.
So it looks like Michael B. Jordan gets at least a little credit for all future projects made by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s production company Pearl Street Films. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the Black Panther star is the proponent of inclusion riders that Pearl Street’s head of strategic outreach Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni retweeted on Twitter, when announcing that the company would be following in the footsteps of Jordan’s own production company Outlier Society.
“On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward,” DiGiovanni tweeted on Monday night. Famously hyped by Frances McDormand during her acceptance speech at the Oscars this year, inclusion riders, an agreement put in place to maintain racial and gender diversity both in front of and behind the camera, can be practical tool to fight inequality in Hollywood. The director of USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative Stacy Smith reportedly coined the term “inclusion rider” back in 2014, so technically, she also gets a hats off for Damon and Affleck’s upcoming movies too.
I mean… at least they’re trying? If we’re setting the bar so low, I guess we can give them a cookie for saying that they’ll do inclusion riders on the films they produce. What about the films they star in? Who knows. If anything, I think Ben Affleck might have a cleaner diversity/inclusion record in general, because the list of Matt Damon’s f–kups include: mansplaining diversity to a female, African-American producer, mansplaining the whitewashing controversies of his own white-savior films, and mansplaining the #MeToo movement. Ben Affleck might have the same thoughts as his bro Matty D, but Affleck doesn’t have the same kind of history of saying that kind of dumb sh-t, even if he assaults women. Oh well – everyone has to start somewhere. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
(Just as I finished writing all of that, I remembered that Affleck cast himself in a role of a real-life Hispanic man. Ugh.)
Photos courtesy of Getty.