March 05, 2018

By Lauren Moraski

If you watched the Oscars Sunday night, then you probably heard the last two words of Frances McDormand’s speech: “inclusion rider.”

Backstage in the press room, nearly everyone around me, including myself, scratched their heads and said something to the effect of, “What is that? And is it inclusion rider or inclusion writer?” We quickly started Googling and hunting on Twitter to figure it out.

Aha, inclusion rider.


McDormand may have only learned about inclusion riders last week, but the concept has been circulating for at least a year.

Kalpana Kotagal of the law firm Cohen Milstein worked on drafting the inclusion rider with Stacy Smith, founder of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, alongside producer and actor Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni. 

So, what is it? 

“It’s a short addition to a contract that an actor can take into negotiations with a studio that would provide for a hiring and casting process that basically follows some best practices and helps to cut through some unconscious bias to hopefully lead to casting and crew hiring that better reflects the world that we live in,” Kotagal told HuffPost. 

Kotagal says that some A-listers and production companies have already started successfully using the provision. Her hope is that it becomes the norm in the industry. 

The full article can be read here