A World Without Racism is Inclusive
Inclusivity has recently been taking the world by storm, particularly in professional atmospheres. One example of this in a recent Hollywood event was Frances McDormand’s 2018 Oscar acceptance speech. In this now well-known speech, the actress asked that all Hollywood actors add inclusion riders into their contracts. According to Urban Dictionary, the term is defined as “a film industry contract provision that requires diversity in casting.” According to a CNN Business article, the concept behind this push is to shatter the biases that occur within auditioning in the film and television industries. Not only does this include those seen on screen but also those behind the camera. There is no doubt that there is an underrepresentation of minorities and women within this industry. The idea is that by creating these clauses, opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds will open up. However, a key aspect of the inclusion riders is that those being cast align with the intended character of the film. For instance, if the character is a trans Latino woman and the actors of the film have inclusion riders in their contracts the directors of the film would therefore have to cast a trans Latino actress. Hollywood has a longstanding history of hiring white male actors for roles even when they are playing characters that are that of a minority. The reality of the industry is that the leading actors and actresses are the ones who hold the true power within the film industry. If they decide to take charge and require inclusion riders within their contracts, the rest will truly fall into place. Many notable actors within Hollywood have taken the proactive step of committing to inclusion riders. Such names include Brie Larson, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Michael B Jordan, just to name a few! This act often includes an actor pledging, typically through social media, to adopt this clause within their future contracts. It has become apparent that these well-known individuals are ready to take that next step in speaking through action, rather than simply voicing support, and not backing it up with the behavior. Although this is a huge step in the right direction within the film industry, this is not an endgame. Inclusion riders’ contractual language does not provide a consequence should the clause not be followed. The wording calls for a “good faith effort” however that only means that they try, which can be misconstrued or open for interpretation. The next step is for these figures to include consequences such as they will not be a part of the project. With the continuation of inclusion riders and hopefully getting as many actors as possible in the industry to partake in this movement, we can maintain and even improve the progress being made within the film and tv industry, ultimately creating a more inclusive and diverse world.