September 06, 2018

Six months after Frances McDormand introduced the world to the concept of an inclusion rider in her Oscars speech, Warner Bros. and its sister companies are announcing a company-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion, becoming the first major entertainment company to do so.

WarnerMedia says Wednesday that it is pledging to use its “best efforts” to make sure that diverse actors and crews are considered for film and television projects at all stages of the production process going forward and to work with directors and producers with similar goals. WarnerMedia companies include Warner Bros., HBO and Turner.

The first production to fall under the policy will be the Michael B. Jordan film “Just Mercy,” which begins shooting this week under the direction of Destin Daniel Cretton. Jordan was an early advocate of the idea of inclusion riders at his production company, Outlier Society, and helped craft the framework for WarnerMedia.

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McDormand earlier this year shone a spotlight on the idea that companies could consider quotas or contract addendums with an eye toward diverse and inclusive hiring, which the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative explained in a December 2017 paper from the University of Southern California’s Stacy L. Smith and employment attorney Kalpana Kotagal. Since then some celebrities, including Jordan, director Paul Feig, and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, have said that they would adopt inclusion riders for their production companies.

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