Frances McDormand has called for Hollywood stars to take her inclusion rider comments at the Oscars more seriously and help make film sets more friendly places for all.
The veteran actress picked up her second Best Actress Academy Award in March for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and as she was finishing up her speech, she stated, "I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentleman: inclusion rider".
Mystified stars and critics alike reached for their Tinseltown dictionaries in an effort to find out what the Fargo star was talking about and it was later revealed an inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to firm up gender and racial equality on movie sets.
Frances subsequently revealed she had only become aware of inclusion riders at the beginning of 2018, but she is fully committed to them, and now she is doubling down on her support of the practice, urging her peers to take riders seriously in a bid to make Hollywood a more friendly place.
"I'm here to take responsibility for my actions and restate a call to action," she said at the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday (13Jun18), as she honoured the author of the inclusion rider, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, and the leaders of the gender parity movement. "I have this feeling in my gut that times are changing."
"I have been vaguely aware of and completely intrigued by the series of USC (University of Southern California) Annenberg studies on gender parity in film and television, which were commissioned by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute, but I didn't know that the author of the studies had taken the next step and created an actual working legal tool," she added. "If I may use a sporting metaphor: If you want to go fast, go it alone, if you want to go far, do it together... Can we successfully legislate morality? Perhaps not. But we can ask our better selves to go forward together, to take us farther than we have gone before?"
The idea of an inclusion rider was first raised by Dr. Smith, a gender equality researcher in film and television studies at the University of Southern California, in a 2016 TED Talk.