inclusion riders

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck just showed their support for inclusion riders

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  • The duo have confirmed on Twitter that their production company, Pearl Street, will adopt an inclusion rider in all their future production deals.

    By Victoria Fell

    Before Frances McDormand’s win at the 2018 Academy Awards, the concept of inclusion riders was relatively unknown (even though the term actually goes back years, coined in 2014 by Dr Stacy Smith, the director of USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative.)

    Now, thanks to Frances’ empowering words, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have become the newest and perhaps most high-profile Hollywood stars to show their support for the concept, which, according to NPR, is ‘a stipulation that actors and actresses can ask (or demand) to have inserted into their contracts, which would require a certain level of diversity among a film’s cast and crew’.

    Variety reports that Pearl Street’s head of strategic outreach Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni made the announcement last night on Twitter, saying ‘Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry. On behalf of Pearl Street Films Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward.’

    Of course, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon aren’t the first celebrities to get behind the concept of an inclusion rider since Frances McDormand’s Oscar’s speech. Michael B. Jordan, star of Black Panther, has pledged on Twitter to adopt inclusion riders in all future projects produced by his company Outlier Society, explaining in an Instagram post, ‘I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward.’

    Brie Larson was also quick to show her support over Twitter after McDormand’s speech, saying, ‘I’m committed to the Inclusion Rider. Who’s with me?’

    With previous films including Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea and action thriller Jason Bourne, having such a huge production company as Pearl Street films behind the inclusion rider initiative can only be good for the business.

    We’re looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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