Many people are wondering what an Inclusion Rider is after Frances McDormand's impassioned speech at last night's Oscars ceremony. Now we have an explanation from the actress herself, who won for Best Actress. While most of the Oscar categories were wide open, one of the surefire locks was Frances McDormand, who took home the prize for her powerhouse performance in Fox Searchlight's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The actress had previously won the Golden Globe, BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Award for playing Mildred in writer-director Martin McDonagh's dark comedy. But last night, she used her big Oscar win for a call to arms.
At the end of her Academy Awards acceptance speech, the actress asked all of her fellow female nominees to stand with her, which lead to roaring applause from everyone in the building, before Frances McDormand ended her speech by asking all of these women, and everyone in that room, to ask for an "inclusion rider" when making their next deal. Here's what two-time Oscar winning actress Frances McDormand had to say at the end of her Oscar speech, with all of the female nominees standing with her.
"Look around, everybody, 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, invite us into your office in a couple of days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we'll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion rider."
After winning the Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Frances McDormand went backstage to the Oscars press room, where the first question she was asked was what exactly is an "inclusion rider." The actress, who has been a working actress for 35 years, since her debut in the Coen Brothers' film debut, 1984's Blood Simple, revealed that she had only first heard about an "inclusion rider" last week. Here's what she had to say, when asked to define what an "inclusion rider" is.
"Right? I just found out about this last week. There is, has always been available, to everybody who does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider, which means you can ask for, and/or demand,at least 50% diversity, in not only the casting, but also the crew. And so, the fact that I just learned that, after 35 years in the film business, we're not going back. So, the whole idea of women 'trending,' no. African-Americans 'trending,' no, no trending, it changes now. And I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that."
Three Billboards From Ebbing, Missouri won two Oscars last night in total, with Frances McDormand's co-star Sam Rockwell winning Best Supporting actor for his portrayal of Dixon. Whether or not actors, actresses or filmmakers will start requesting and/or demanding inclusion riders in their contracts from this day forward remains to be seen, but it most certainly could open the door for a lot more diversity, both in front of and behind the camera. Below we have both Frances McDormand's acceptance speech from ABC YouTube, and another video from Variety YouTube featuring Frances McDormand's interview in the Oscar's press room, shortly after her big win.