The “inclusion rider” has found its first high-profile supporter: Michael B Jordan, the star of Black Panther and Creed. Jordan announced on Wednesday that his production company, Outlier Society, will adopt the clause demanding diversity among the cast and crew, for his projects.
The idea was first suggested by Stacy L Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative thinktank and popularised by actress Frances McDormand during the Oscars on Sunday. While accepting the best actress award for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDormand concluded by saying, “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
Jordan made his announcement through his Instagram account, where he said, “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.” Among his company’s planned productions are the Netflix series Raising Dion and a remake of The Thomas Crowne Affair, The Guardian reported.
In a TED talk in 2016, Smith explained the need for such a clause: “Across the top 100 films of just last year, 48 films didn’t feature one black or African-American speaking character, not one. Seventy films were devoid of Asian or Asian-American speaking characters that were girls or women. None. Eighty-four films didn’t feature one female character that had a disability. And 93 were devoid of lesbian, bisexual or transgender female speaking characters. This is not underrepresentation. This is erasure, and I call this the epidemic of invisibility.”