Frances McDormand gets ‘inclusion rider’ trending, because she’s awesome

90th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

In the end, it was never the case that Frances McDormand didn’t care. It was always the case that she cared too much. Frances has the reputation as a no-nonsense eccentric, the kind of woman who will show up to the Oscars, not walk the red carpet, not wear a stitch of makeup, and still win for a great performance in a bad movie. And when she wins, she’ll make it about everybody else. She’ll make it about how the industry needs to change. She’ll make all of the nominated women stand up so that every one of them can have a moment of feeling proud of themselves for how they got there.

Here are some photos of Frances backstage at the Oscars, because those are the only photos of her. She didn’t walk the carpet. She didn’t care about that aspect of it. She wasn’t going to pose with her Oscar statue aloft, like she believed it was the culmination of a career’s worth of work. She didn’t campaign. She even seemed to suggest that perhaps someone else should win this year. But she still showed up and wore a dress and tried to give a message.

“Inclusion Rider” was trending for the rest of the evening and into the morning. So WTF is an inclusion rider? She explained it backstage because very few people knew what it was.

Basically, an inclusion rider is something bigger stars can have in their contracts – it’s a “rider” for the cast and below-the-line workers, that the film needs to hire 50-50 men and women or more diverse casting choices need to be made. I would imagine that very few celebrities actually have the power to have inclusion riders, but those who do have that power (Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Tom Cruise, maybe) could have it contractually stated that they want more inclusion or they walk. I would imagine many directors could have inclusion riders in their studio contracts too. In any case, it’s a good message.

Oscar Awards 2018 Press Room

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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39 Responses to “Frances McDormand gets ‘inclusion rider’ trending, because she’s awesome”

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  1. SK says:

    I love her. I wanted Margot or Sally to win but I love Francis and she is always an exceptional performer and I’m so happy for her. I love that she got up there with no make-up and marched up all business-like then broke out in a big grin. I love how open her body language was. I love how she put her Oscar down and patted him on the head. I love how she got all the female nominees to stand up. I love her talk of inclusion riders. Love her!

  2. Ally says:

    Great speech. And it’s not just on women, lgbtq and minority stars to request them but men, too. You first, Marky Mark, since your peeps are good at negotiating contractual demands.

    Here’s a TED talk video by the woman who initiated the concept (from what I gather):

  3. Nicole says:

    Lovely to see that be mentioned. And yea inclusion riders won’t mean crap if the big stars don’t do it. Sad thing is I don’t think many of them will stick their neck out when it counts the most. Not everyone is Jessica Chastain fighting for her costar to get a bigger check.

  4. Yeahright says:

    I hated 3 billboards but love her (for now) until she undoubtedly says some white feminist nonsense that gets her canceled.
    Until then, congrats!
    Loved her speech!
    Carry on!

  5. Lucy2 says:

    “We aren’t going back.”
    I’m skipping that film, but I’m ok she won, she’s a hell of an actor, and that was a great speech.

  6. LAK says:

    This is her second best actress oscar. First one was for FARGO in 1997. She’s been nominated 5 times in the acting categories. At this point, she’s an old hand at this. Doesn’t need to be as thirsty for it as other nominees. If she worked more, she would be as frequently nominated as Meryl or DDL because the academy loves her.

  7. Krill says:

    Ridiculous. Yes, I’m going to be the truth teller today. She didnt KNOW that you can use your clout to get others hired on a project? Really? She is not just a veteran, she is married to a frickin’ Coen Brother. She is as industry as you can get and she didnt know? So everytime she saw a stars unknown sibling show up in a supporting part on his brothers film e.g Stallone and his brother she thought they got cast how? I mean comeon. If this is the callibre of intelectual curiousity and committment to diversity we are working with, no wonder we have been forked for so long. But medals to her for getting there before all the other white liberals and white feminists in the room.

    • Betsy says:

      I just watched the acceptance speech and not the backstage one. What?

    • Umyeah says:

      Ok calm down, in every industry there is nepotism but what Frances is trying to counter that. She is an amazing actress but does she really have the power to demand every film be diverse? She is giving people options to force the matter in a legal contractual way. Also Francis (much like Oprah a few weeks ago) took a moment that was about celebrating her accomplishments and made it about educating others about how to demand inclusion. Its sad that you want to bash her for this

      • Krill says:

        Who said anything about countering nepotism? I said its silly of her to pretend she didnt know that you could use your clout on a set this way. For goodness sake, she is pretty much every film her husband directs. And while she is talented, I’m sure a studio head has tried to recast her part to a younger prettier actress more than once (Harvey for instance?). She has always known people use clout to get people hired in her industry. She should just say that she never considered using it to raise diversity on a project she was on.

        Also, even though she is not her husband, I hope she looks closely at her glass house. Her husband consistently makes movies whiter than driven snow. I’m seriously trying to remember if I have ever see a non white person in a Coen film. Even as a supporting cast, I cant think of even one.

        Meanwhile people of color have been doing this forever. If you hire Denzel you will recieve a list of available potential crew from set designers to electricians that you are urged to select from. Look at the credits of his movies on IMDB if in doubt. Its about time the talkers put their words into action so hopefully this will trigger that but her bare faced lie rubbed me the wrong way.

      • Umyeah says:

        Actually the last time Frances appeared in a Coen film was in 2008 so im not sure what your saying is accurate. Also I think you are forgetting No Country for Old Men which starred Javier Bardem. I think you said it yourself, a studio head would want her replaced bt someone younger/prettier, so why would we assume that same studio head would listen to her demands. I applaud Denzel but he has a lot more clout than Frances and could make those demamds without fear of losing his job bc his name means ticket sales. Also Frances doesnt take a ton of roles so not sure it woulfd make huge impact BUT if nothing else she educated Emma Stone, JLaw and everyone else there that this is something they can ask for.

    • Sal says:

      you named one black actor that uses inclusion riders – Robin Williams also used too – but I guess that doesn’t fit your narrative does it?

  8. Lua says:

    I just heard about that concept yesterday while I was reading an article on Buzzfeed about the Fab 5 from “Queer Eye” and it said that (at least) one of them, Karamo in this case, has some stipulation in his contract that makes sure that the TV show he’s on must hire two to three gay African-Americans to be on crew. I thought that was amazing.

  9. Lucy says:

    As I said in the other post, bless her and what she does for this Earth. She truly is one of the good ones, with and without the Oscar.

  10. lightpurple says:

    Inclusion riders aren’t just for movies. And they are in danger. For decades, many federal contracts have had inclusion riders. Boston’s Big Dig, at the time, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in US history had inclusion riders for the contracts. A certain percentage of the work had to be subcontracted to minority & women owned businesses. Even though only a very small percentage of the Big Dig work was done by women, women working construction on that project had never before encountered so many other women in hard hats working on the same project. Such riders are now under threat from the Trump administration.

  11. Maggie says:

    So happy for Frances even if I loved Sally Hawkins

  12. Nicegirl says:

    I’m here for Frances, her win and her message.

  13. savu says:

    Just awesome. It was all great. I loved her talk of her husband and son and their feminist mothers. It’s awesome whenever someone uses their opportunities to empower others. That is how the world changes.

  14. Mia4s says:

    I get such a kick out of Frances, she goes her own way.

    The inclusion rider idea is interesting, but in the Hollywood context probably tricky, except with the very biggest actors. They’re all just too replaceable these days. For example Brie Larson tweeted her support for the idea. Great. And if Captain Marvel 1 and 2 are massive she might have enough clout to add this to her contract for part 3. For now though? Is anyone really super excited for the next non-Marvel Brie Larson film? Are you counting the days? For those projects if the studio/producers feel it’s too much hassal to cast her with the rider they will just move to the next actress on their list. “Stars” are few and far between these days.

    The best way to up representation is still and will remain making a point of supporting and seeing female and POC led ( or at least heavy) projects. Particularly those with diversity behind the scenes. Then studios are incentivized to do this without a rider. Money always talks loudest.

  15. Ozogirl says:

    She’s a hot mess, but I love her.

    • KR says:

      “I just learned about the inclusion rider last week.” Questionable. She’s industry savvy, a Coen.

      I did enjoy, low key dressing, hair styles done by a g/f, make-up from home, and “the we are not unique,” change in the Oscars.

  16. Jess says:

    Good for her – I love it when people give concrete examples of positive steps that can be done. And while not everyone can ask for an Inclusion Rider, those who can, should. No more excuses about not knowing after Frances!