INCLUSION RIDERS AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY IN HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND

By Kathleen A. Herkenhoff, Esq.

While Frances McDormand’s newly-minted Oscar statuette[1] may have disappeared at a post-Oscars’ party on Sunday night, Ms. McDormand’s utterance of the words “inclusion rider” during her acceptance speech has left an indelible impression.

While the terminology may sound like the title of a new movie, a “rider,” as used in this context, is understood to refer to a term that a negotiating party adds to a contract as an additional demand or entitlement before signing the contract. The public may be more familiar with hearing of these “riders” for major rock musicians – for example the legendary “only green M&M”[2] riders.

As used by Ms. McDormand in her acceptance speech, the “inclusion” rider is understood to refer to a requirement that the movie studio cast and/or staff a film with persons that more fully represent real world demographics for women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities. Haeggquist & Eck, LLP (“HAE”) applauds Ms. McDormand’s championing the use of such inclusion riders – a noble and best use of riders to assist the underrepresented in Hollywood.

Stacy Smith, founder and director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, has been publicly credited for developing the “inclusion rider” concept in 2016. With the momentum of the #MeToo movement, we believe the “inclusion rider” is not only timely, but long overdue. HAE encourages those negotiating contracts in a variety of fields (education, engineering, architecture, etc.) to consider similar riders, upon evaluation with their legal counsel.

[1] ©A.M.P.A.S. References herein to the “Oscars”, “Oscar”, or its golden statuette are property of, and belong to, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

[2] 2017 Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates (“Mars”). All references herein to M&Ms are to the product that is the property of, and belongs to, Mars.

 

 

[1] ©A.M.P.A.S. References herein to the “Oscars”, “Oscar”, or its golden statuette are property of, and belong to, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

[1] 2017 Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates (“Mars”). All references herein to M&Ms are to the product that is the property of, and belongs to, Mars.

By | 2018-03-06T22:09:23+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on INCLUSION RIDERS AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY IN HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND