March 05, 2018

When Frances McDormand told the audience of the 90th Academy Awards that she had two words for them, close to no one would have predicted those words were "inclusion rider." McDormand immediately got the industry and internet buzzing with this legal term for how people in Hollywood can ensure the inclusion of underrepresented groups while searching for talent in their upcoming projects.

The rider was created in 2016 by attorney Kalpana Kotagal along with Stacy Smith from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Together – with a little bump from McDormand – they may have changed the future of Hollywood.

Mashable spoke to Kotagal via phone the day after the Oscars, one of her busiest days on the job – but she was hardly complaining.

Mashable: What exactly is the inclusion rider?

Kotagal: The idea here is that we – working with Stacy Smith at the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, I developed contract language that an A-lister, a movie star, could take into negotiations with a studio to star in a particular product or a particular production and the idea is that it would help to guide a set of best practices around hiring and casting on screen and off-screen that would ensure a more diverse production from top to bottom. So that’s the idea; it allows those who already have the kind of bargaining power and market power in the industry to say, ‘Look, we want to be part of the solution’ and one of the ways that we’re going to drive the kind of change we want to see in the industry is to insist that the projects that we work on are truly reflective of the world we live in.

The full article can be read here