Last month Best Actress Oscar winner Frances McDormand took the stage to accept her award, but it was the two words that she uttered at the end of the speech that had Hollywood talking: “Inclusion Rider”
So what exactly is it? According to NPR, “it’s a stipulation that actors and actresses can ask (or demand) to have inserted into their contracts, which would require a certain level of diversity among a film’s cast and crew.”
Giving minorities their seat at the table, sounds admirable right? We think so. But there’s one media giant that reportedly has no plans to incorporate such a requirement. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told USA Today, “We’re not so big on doing everything through agreements. We’re trying to do things creatively.”
We did some digging to find out just how much of the “we’re” Hastings mentions is comprised of minorities and reports show the Netflix board consists of “white men and a few white women. African Americans only make up 4% of staff and leadership; Latinos comprise 6% of staff and 5% of leaders.”
It’s hard not to mention Mo’Nique‘s call for a boycott of the streaming platform over alleged racial and gender bias based on pay. Her argument? White comics were being paid more than black comics.
Now to be fair, Netflix has had a number of firsts centered around African-Americans, including Luke Cage (the first series starring a black superhero on the platform). There’s also Orange Is The New Black and their new deal with Shonda Rhimes. But is it enough?
Michael B. Jordan is one of the first to step out and publicly declare that his production company, Outlier Society Productions, will now include an inclusion rider. He recently named Alana Mayo, a black woman, as Head of Production and Development.