Actress Frances McDormand didn’t attend the second annual Women’s Media Summit, held over the weekend at Provincetown’s Crown and Anchor, but the “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” star was certainly there in spirit.
Several industry pros at the four-day conference referenced McDormand’s shout-out at the Oscars for “inclusion riders” as a way to improve gender and racial equity in Hollywood. Because that was a key mission of the sophomore Summit, hammering out action plans for increasing the representation of women and minorities on both sides of the camera.
“When [McDormand] said ‘inclusion rider,’ my phone blew up and didn’t slow down for two weeks,” said keynote speaker Stacy Smith, founder and director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
Smith had first introduced the idea of the inclusion rider in 2014. She recounted how Summit attendee and former Cambridge resident Fanshen Cox DeGiovanni, head of strategic outreach for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company Pearl Street Films, jumped on the idea. With lawyer Kalpana Kotagal, who also attended the weekend Summit, she crafted the inclusion rider for A-listers’ contracts that would mandate gender and racial diversity on projects.
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