When Frances McDormand took the stage to nab her Best Actress award at the Academy Awards last night, you could tell she was a woman with a purpose. McDormand, who is know for her idiosyncratic portrayals of so-called "difficult women," set her Oscar down on the floor and asked for all the other female nominees (in her category and every other) to please stand. Informing everyone that it was time for "some perspective," she went on to say:
Look around, ladies and gentlemen because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight.” (Motioning to a nonexistent wristwatch.) Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours—whichever suits you best—and we’ll tell you all about them.
But as feminist-warrior-in-Hollywood as that statement was, it was not that part that had Twitter aflutter afterward. No, that was instead, the two words said right before she walked off stage—inclusion rider.
Many were left asking, "What's an inclusion rider?"
I think Google just broke down from everyone looking up inclusion rider— S. Makrauer (@lvshoes1) March 5, 2018
For those who might not know, here's what McDormand had to say about her words afterward in the press room:
Actress/Comedian, Whitney Cummings tweet-splained the meaning of inclusion rider to the masses last night, post-Oscars:
an inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can't find a reason to, here's one: it will make movies better.— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) March 5, 2018
And while some folks were all about Lady McDormand holding court in that moment with her fellow female nominees, some were less than enthused with her ideas for greater inclusion in Hollywood.
Seems to me that there were a lot of talented women in that room and if they work together, they can make any film that they want. Sisters doing it for themselves. Whether the men cooperate or not, they have the power that they need.— Mark Long (@BluesScale) March 5, 2018
This is never a good idea. It’s no different than having a “quota” in the workplace of different diversities. Problem with that is a lot of time u get people who don’t deserve the job & that aren’t good at the job just so a box is ticked. In the long run does no one any favours.— AJ (@ajsmith2369) March 5, 2018
How about the best person for the job? And instead push back against bad casting?— Simone (@SimoneNYC1) March 5, 2018
But whether we all like the idea of an inclusion rider or not, it's nothing new. As McDormand herself explained, it's been around forever—the only difference is that now everyone knows about it (thanks to McDormand) and that means how Hollywood changes now is the hands of those actors and actresses with the most power—the A-listers.
H/T: Twitter, Youtube