"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider," said Frances McDormand

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 05, 2018 12:19 AM
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Frances McDormand wants to see more equality in Hollywood.

While accepting the award for best actress at Sunday evening’s 90th Annual Academy Awards, McDormand made a call for equality and diversity on film sets.

“I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider,” she said.

So what is an inclusion rider?

An inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contract that requires the cast and crew on the film be diverse and support gender equality in order to retain the actor.

The idea was first started by The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which works to increase diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.

“This clause would ask for the film’s cast to match the demography of where the story is set,” the initiative’s website states. “This way, even small parts can reflect reality.”

Following her acceptance speech, McDormand told reporters backstage at the Oscars: “I just found out about this last week. This has always been available to everybody that does a negotiation on a film — an inclusion rider which means that you can ask for and or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting but also the crew. So the fact that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business, we’re not going back.”

“The idea of women trending — no trending. African Americans trending — no trending,” she said. “The change is now. I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that.”

2 Broke Girls creator and Whitney creator Whitney Cummings took to Twitter following McDormand’s speech to show her support for the idea.

“We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can’t find a reason to, here’s one: it will make movies better,” she wrote.

To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.

Along with asking for the rider, McDormand also highlighted the lack of female nominees at the ceremony.

“I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight,” she said. “Okay look around everybody, look around, ladies and gentlemen because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financing.”

The 90th Oscars were held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018, and were telecast live on ABC.

  • With reporting by BRIANNE TRACY