The "inclusion rider" appears to be taking over Hollywood following actress Frances McDormand's social justice-laden Oscar acceptance speech that extolled the practice as the industry's big solution to their sexual harassment problem.
Within one week, actor Michael B. Jordan ("Black Panther") announced that his new production company would have an "inclusion rider," and following him, two of Harvey Weinstein's longtime pals, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, have announced that their production company, Pearl Street Films, will also include an "inclusion rider."
Coined by Dr. Stacy Smith in a 2014 op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, an "inclusion rider" dictates that top actors can contractually demand that film projects "reflect the world we actually live in by requiring diversity on screen and behind the camera," according to HuffPost.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the head of strategic outreach at Pearl Street Films, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, has confirmed that the inclusion rider will be adopted on all projects going forward.
"On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward," Cox DiGiovanni tweeted Monday.
Essentially, the "inclusion rider" is just Hollywood-speak for "affirmative action." Proponents of it say it only extends to below-the-line jobs (cinematographer, production designer, sound, 1st and 2nd AD, editor, visual effects and composer) and supporting roles that do not affect “story sovereignty.”
As to placing more talent behind the camera that reflect the "world we live in," affirmative action in those cases will have the same effect as affirmative action in the real world. Simply put: less-qualified people will be elevated to positions based solely on their race or gender while qualified individuals will be docked for not meeting that diversity quota. Just take a look at season two of "Jessica Jones," which "included" all female directors by excluding all male directors.
That's not fair competition. That's not even competition. Everybody deserves the opportunity to show their quality on the stage and be judged solely on the basis of their quality, not skin color or gender.