Trends: Hollywood Adopts Inclusion Riders

Michael B. Jordan (Mashable)

Michael B. Jordan (Mashable)

Many people only learned of the term “inclusion rider” when actress Frances McDormand mentioned it during her acceptance speech for the Best Actress Oscar at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Curiosity about the term was so high that Merriam-Webster later reported via Twitter that “inclusion” was the dictionary’s most-searched term during the Oscars ceremony. (“Rider” came in fourth.)

(For those who haven’t yet heard, an inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contact that states that the hiring for positions on set must be inclusive. This clause can also be called an equity rider. The rider was invented by Stacy L. Smith, professor at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism along with lawyer Kalpana Kotagal. If you’re curious about what an inclusion rider looks like, here’s an inclusion rider template.)

Following the concept’s wave of exposure, others in Hollywood are making a commitment to inclusiveness in their projects official with the rider. “Black Panther” actor Michael B. Jordan announced that his production company Outlier Society Productions would adopt the inclusion rider for its projects. Jordan is the first major actor to adopt the rider following McDormand’s Oscars speech. Actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have also announced that their joint production company Pearl Street Films will also adopt an inclusion rider.

I certainly hope others take up this cause to the point that we no longer need inclusion riders.

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Google Trends: Inclusion Rider

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

With Frances McDormand mentioning the inclusion rider clause during her speech while accepting the Best Actress Oscar, I wondered how the concept was rising as a search term. Let’s take a look using Google Trends!

First, here’s how the search term “inclusion” performed over the last 12 months:

Google Trends: Search Term "Inclusion" Over the Past 12 Months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: Search Term “Inclusion” Over the Past 12 Months (Google Trends)

See that spike? That was for the week of March 4-10, 2018. The Oscars took place on Sunday, March 4. No coincidence there!

Here are the search term’s top five related topics:

Google Trends: "Inclusion" Search Term Related Topics (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “Inclusion” Search Term Related Topics (Google Trends)

Clearly, McDormand was a large driver of traffic in the search term. Another thing to note is that two of the suggested search terms autofilled for “inclusion” are “subset” and “social exclusion.”

Now let’s take a look at how the actual term “inclusion rider” performed:

Google Trends: "Inclusion Rider" Search Term for Past 12 Months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “Inclusion Rider” Search Term for Past 12 Months (Google Trends)

Another big spike! And in that same week! In this case, correlation equals causation.

Weird thing about the suggested search terms: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck both appear as suggestions, but not Frances McDormand. Hmm. This suggests to me that more people are searching for the term now with regards to Damon and Affleck, but not McDormand.

Here are the related topics for “inclusion rider:”

Google Trends: "Inclusion Rider" Related Topics (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “Inclusion Rider” Related Topics (Google Trends)

That’s pretty straightforward.

It’s pretty cool to see empirical evidence that this concept is gaining awareness! Though Merriam-Webster could already attest to that.