• Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. (Getty)
Frances McDormand left the Oscars audience with two words: 'inclusion rider.' She explained the term backstage.
SBS Movies

6 Mar 2018 - 9:51 AM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2018 - 11:34 AM

Unsurprisingly, the phrase at the end of her Oscar acceptance speech sparked a hashtag and questions backstage. 

"I just found out about this last week," she said. She explains the rider here:

Earlier in her speech, McDomand took a moment to encourage all the Oscar nominated women in the audience to stand up in order to highlight their work in the largely male-dominated industry. 

Social scientist Stacy Smith talked about the inclusion rider during her Ted talk in 2016 on Hollywood sexism. She detailed the data from her research on gender inequality in the entertainment industry and outlined solutions, one of them the inclusion rider. 

"Stories don't give everyone the same opportunity to appear within them. My data are really depressing.

"What if A-listers simply added an equity clause or an inclusion rider into their contract?

"Now, what does that mean? Well, you probably don't know but the typical feature film has about 40 to 45 speaking characters in it. I would argue that only 8 to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story.

"The remaining 30 or so roles, there's no reason why those minor roles can't match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place. An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live.

"There's no reason why a network, a studio or a production company cannot adopt the same contractual language in their negotiation processes."

Once added to a contract, breaches could be dealt with through penalties or fees. 

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