Thanks to Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech at the Oscars, inclusion riders have become a hot topic in Hollywood. Now “Ghostbusters” reboot director, Paul Feig, is throwing his support behind them.
Feig announced on Twitter Tuesday that his production banner, Feigco Entertainment, will make inclusion riders a studio standard for all film and TV projects. An inclusion rider is a stipulation in an actor’s contract that a project’s producers must hire a diverse cast and crew.
Feig credited the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at his alma mater, USC, for assisting him on implementing the stipulation, which was first introduced by the initiative’s leader, Dr. Stacy L. Smith.
Thrilled to announce that Feigco Entertainment is officially adopting an #inclusionrider for all our film and TV productions moving forward. Thank you to @Inclusionists and Stacy L. Smith for their guidance and inspiration. We challenge other companies and studios to do the same.
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 13, 2018
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have also pledged to adopt inclusion riders, with the head of strategic outreach for their Pearl Street Films production company, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, making the announcement on Twitter Monday night.
Specific requirements listed in inclusion riders can differ from actor to actor, but McDormand’s inclusion rider specifies that unless producers can prove a need for “story authenticity” makes honoring the requirement impossible, auditions for all supporting roles must include at least one woman and one person “from any other under-represented group” — which it specifies as referring to “people of color, disabled, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender or Queer, or having a combination of these attributes.”
Feig, who directed a reboot of the 80’s classic “Ghostbusters” with an all-female main cast in 2016, signed a TV deal for Feigco with Lionsgate Television earlier this month. He joins other Hollywood stars like Ashley Judd and Michael B. Jordan on the list of actors pushing to make inclusion riders an industry standard.