Rather than wait for outside demands, faith-based organizations should proactively pursue representation as part of their mission.
Once Oscar winner Frances McDormand ended her acceptance speech with the two words “inclusion rider,” so many people Googled the phrase that inclusion became the most-searched word of the night on Merriam-Webster’s site.
In the entertainment industry, a rider refers to special provisions of a contract; in this case, the agreement would require producers to involve a certain level of underrepresented groups in the cast and crew in order for a prominent performer to take part.
The concept was proposed by Stacy L. Smith, director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, in the Hollywood Reporter in 2014, as a way to have “women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of LGBT and marginalized communities who are traditionally underrepresented be depicted on screen in proportion to their representation in the population.” Earlier this month, actor Michael B. Jordan of Black Panther became the first A-list actor to promise he would adopt the inclusion rider in contracts through his company, Outlier Society Productions.
The aims of the inclusion rider, in the context of the film industry, seem straightforward: to incorporate more diversity on screen and behind the scenes, thus promoting employment and capturing more accurately the diversity of human experience.
However, the concept of the inclusion rider has also raised questions of legality, particularly if possible quotas would actually violate certain nondiscrimination laws, like the federal Civil Rights Act, which protects against discrimination in classes such as race, national origin, and sex.
An article in the American Bar Association Journal reports that Kalpana Kotagal, a partner with Cohen Milstein’s civil rights and employment …