By Rosie Alger
This week’s hero is Frances McDormand for her Oscars speech that highlighted women in the industry and called for more diverse inclusion in the art-making process. McDormand used her precious amount of acceptance speech time to have all the women in the room who had been nominated for an award stand and be recognized for their hard work. She also ended her speech by bringing to the public eye an important way that established artists can increase diversity and representation in the film. At the end of her speech, McDormand said, “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
Someone who has power and influence should use their position to demand equal representation on the projects to which they sign on. Inclusion riders are language that people can use in their contracts to ensure that producers hire an equal amount of people of color, LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities, and other minorities. McDormand bringing attention to this tool will hopefully encourage Hollywood bigwigs to get on the bandwagon and start pulling their influence to make real change.
Although the Oscars may be a room full of Hollywood elites, McDormand reminded us that there is much work that can and should be done to increase inclusion and representation in filmmaking. The more diverse and equal we can get our art, the more we can inspire future generations to fight for equality in other arenas. Let’s applaud the people who are using their privilege to fight the good fight. Thank you, McDormand, for reminding us what really matters most.