“Warner Bros Becomes The First Major Studio to Embrace Inclusion Company-wide,” ABC News
Months after Frances McDormand popularized the term "inclusion riders," Warner Bros became the first major studio to adopt a company-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion.
WarnerMedia, the parent company of Warner Bros, announced on Wednesday that the studio, along with its sister companies HBO and Turner, will launch the initiative with the film "Just Mercy," starring Michael B. Jordan.
The "Black Panther" star was one of the first actors to commit to using inclusion riders, which allow actors to require diversity in the cast and crew of a film production as part of their contracts.
The term went viral after Frances McDormand used it during her powerful acceptance speech after winning the best actress Oscar earlier this year. "I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion rider," she said, concluding her speech.
A week later, Jordan announced that his company, Outlier Society Productions, would add inclusion riders on all future deals.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old actor said on social media, "Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business. It wasn't until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realized we could standardize this practice."
He continued, "Earlier this year I formally pledged my production company, Outlier Society, to this way of doing business. And today, the @warnermediagroup family has announced a new policy that accomplishes our shared objectives. I applaud them for taking this enormous step forward and I’m proud that our film, 'Just Mercy,' — which begins production today — will be the first to formally represent the future we have been working toward, together."
He concluded his post with, "This is just the beginning..."
Oscar winners Brie Larson, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have also committed to using inclusion riders.
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Warner Bros' announcement was greeted favorably by industry watchers.
"The inclusion rider creates an opportunity for leaders like Michael B. Jordan and Warner Bros to use their powers for good, bringing inclusion and diversity to an industry that has traditionally lacked both," Kalpana Kotagal, partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll and a co-author of the inclusion rider, told ABC News in an emailed statement. "Commitments like this are exactly what the inclusion rider was designed to galvanize, both in Hollywood and far beyond."
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