An idea floated by Frances McDormand at the Academy Awards to boost gender and racial diversity in films is being adopted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
A rep for the dynamic duo’s production company, Pearl Street Films, says Matt and Ben will be adopting so-called inclusion riders for upcoming projects.
“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,” Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni tweeted.
Accepting the best actress Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” earlier this month, McDormand said: “We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Invite us into your office in a couple of days, or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them. . . . I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
Big-name actors can often negotiate riders in their contracts allowing them to make special requests. An inclusion rider would stipulate that the cast or crew of a film include some number of women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, or others.
“Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan has announced on Instagram that his production company, Outlier Society, will adopt inclusion riders.
Damon and Affleck both have been dinged for some of their comments in the aftermath of the sexual harassment scandal that brought down Harvey Weinstein, who produced “Good Will Hunting,” the film that launched their careers.
Damon has apologized for remarks he made about the #MeToo movement, specifically his comment that sexual misconduct should be judged on a “spectrum of behavior.”
“I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” Damon said in a subsequent TV interview. “Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say. And so for that I’m really sorry.”