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The potential unforeseen consequences of Hollywood’s new buzz concept: ‘inclusion riders’

Frances McDormand won best actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Frances McDormand won best actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
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One of the most notable moments at this year’s 90th annual Academy Awards came when Best Actress winner Frances McDormand ended her acceptance speech with two words: “inclusion rider.”

Her mention of the then-largely unknown contract stipulation (check out AirTalk’s primer on inclusion riders if you need a refresher) ignited a new conversation surrounding inclusion in Hollywood. Many in the industry – including big names like Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company – jumped on board to say they’d be adopting inclusion riders in the future.

But in a recent piece for The Hollywood Reporter, senior editor Eriq Gardner addresses inclusion riders’ potential to hurt the equality and inclusion movement that has taken over Hollywood. He states that while there has been a lot of talk about using these contract stipulations, there hasn’t been much said about how they will actually work once applied. Many of the same contracts that would have an inclusion rider, he says, also have arbitration or confidentiality clauses, which could lead to diversity problems being covered up. He believes that Hollywood should consider removing some of the secrecy mechanisms that have perpetuated homogeneity and gender disparity in pay rather than simply adding more contract language.

Larry sits down with Eriq to discuss his piece in-depth.


Eriq Gardner, senior editor for for The Hollywood Reporter, where he writes for THR's legal blog, THR, Esq.; his piece for THR is ‘Why Hollywood's 'Inclusion Rider' Mania Could Hurt the Equality Cause’; he tweets @eriqgardner

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC, Alt-Film Guide and; he tweets @CinemaInMind

Christy Lemire, film critic for KPCC, and co-host of YouTube’s “What the Flick?”; she tweets @christylemire