After a rousing Oscars acceptance speech given by Best Actress winner Frances McDormand on Sunday night, the term “inclusion rider” has been thrown around Hollywood and beyond. Michael B. Jordan has officially announced that his production company, Outlier Society, will be adopting contract addendums requiring studios to adhere to it.
An inclusion rider is a stipulation that actors can demand be included in their contracts that requires a certain percentage of diversity among a film’s cast and crew. McDormand taking home her second Oscar for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri kick-started the conversation—as she said in her speech, “Okay, look around everybody. Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” She continued by saying, “Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
Jordan is the first actor since McDormand’s fiery speech to publicly mention that he is taking those two words to heart. The actor posted on Instagram, saying, “In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society.” Jordan added, “I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward.”
Outlier Society is a fairly new production company in the market. It formed in 2016 with a multiyear first-look deal with Skydance Media, the established company behind World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness and the currently released Annihilation. The Black Panther and Creed star already has a few projects in the works with his company, including a sci-fi series called Raising Dion. Netflix ordered it straight-to-series, an ever more common strategy in television, meaning that the streamer already paid for and guaranteed a full season to be shown, rather than testing the waters with a pilot. Jordan’s company also has an untitled OWN series in the works and a reboot of the 1999 Pierce Brosnan/Rene Russo film The Thomas Crown Affair.
It is still unclear which projects in the works at Outlier Society will include inclusion riders and what specifically they will request regarding diversity. According to THR, Raising Dion and the untitled OWN series have already been staffed, but are “diverse,” per THR’s sources.
New production company Endeavor Content has partnered with small-time companies Good Films, Made Up Stories and 51 Entertainment, and all have vowed to adopt inclusion riders, as well. Endeavor Content is currently producing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence’s forthcoming television series See, and will be producing Octavia Spencer’s forthcoming Apple TV series Are You Sleeping.
The inclusion rider initiative has boosted positivity among many young and new producers. Endeavor Content’s president Graham Taylor said, “Just as consumers are increasingly interested in where their food is from, they are becoming increasingly interested in how their content is created and the values behind it.”
Jordan’s Instagram post shows him with his Outlier head of production, Alana Mayo, and his WME agent Phil Sun. See that below and find out more about inclusion riders here.
In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society. I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward. If you want to learn more about how to support the cause – link in bio. #OutlierSociety #AnnenbergInclusionInitiative
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