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.


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.

Sales of High Heels Dropped 17% in 2017

Christian Louboutin shoes (Knowledge @ Wharton High School)

Christian Louboutin shoes (Knowledge @ Wharton High School)

Analysts have been sounding the alarm bell about the death of retail for a few years now. A few categories are also shifting. Among them are various trends in womenswear. Right now, one major category is getting shaken up: women’s shoes.

Market research firm NPD Group found that sales of high heels dropped 17% in 2017. The women’s footwear category then saw a substitute effect: Sales of women’s sneakers jumped 37% within the same time period.

There are a few reasons at play here: One is that the office is getting more casual, and it’s more acceptable for women to wear flats to work. Another is that sneakers are also having a moment in casual wear. An overarching reason is that women are claiming what they want to wear, and not bending to society’s expectations.

We can’t yet say if this will be a trend for retailers, or the beginning of a larger shift. It may be time to find out how men respond to flats and sneakers in terms of attraction.


“Inclusion” Was Merriam-Webster’s Most-Searched Term After the Oscars

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

Frances McDormand, Oscars 2018 (The Independent UK)

Frances McDormand gave a great speech when she won the Best Actress Oscar at this year’s awards ceremony. And she closed it out with two words: “inclusion rider.”

For those who haven’t yet Googled this term, 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.)

Apparently, so many people were curious about the term that it caused an interesting side effect:

Merriam-Webster 'Inclusion' Tweet, Oscars 2018 (Twitter)

Merriam-Webster ‘Inclusion’ Tweet, Oscars 2018 (Twitter)

One thing to note is that Merriam-Webster’s tweet on searches for “inclusion” got much more engagement (2.6K likes) than the company’s typical posts. (200-400+ likes). I’m glad people are interested in learning more about this concept!

Women in Entertainment: 80% of Women Directors Made Only 1 Movie Within 10 Years

Ava DuVernay directing 'A Wrinkle in Time' (Movieweb)

Ava DuVernay directing ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Movieweb)

The entertainment industry has made it clear that it’s a man’s world. And now we have data to back it up.

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California (USC) put out a study last year through their Media, Diversity & Social Change initiative. The study, titled “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair?,” examined the gender, race and age of directors for the top-grossing 1,000 movies from 2007 to 2016.

Among the interesting findings was the revelation that 80% of women directors made just one film within the 10-year timeframe. This counted them as “one and done.” By contrast, only 54%+ men directed only one film during the same length of time.

The study also called out gender ratios: Across the 1,000 films examined, there were 1,114 directors. (The study did not define if this number was for unique – i.e. only occurring once in the list – directors or not.) The male-to-female director ratio was 24:1.

Across the 1,114 total directors, there were only 35 (!) unique female directors across the stated timeframe. (Ava DuVernay, pictured above, was one of those 35.) That’s 3% of all the directors surveyed. That’s pretty bad!!

Clearly, we have a long way to go before we achieve parity behind the camera.



By The Numbers: “Black Panther”‘s Audience Breakdown

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in 'Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

Shuri (Letitia Wright) in ‘Black Panther, 2018 (ESPN FiveThirtyEight)

As you no doubt have heard by now (and if you haven’t, where are you?!), “Black Panther” is breaking records left and right: It has the second-highest box office gross in its first four days, and is the highest-grossing movie to open over President’s Day weekend (among other records).

One thing that’s happened with the release of the movie is that the audience makeup is slightly different than the usual. Here’s the breakdown!

First, let’s look at race:

Typical Superhero Movie (2016 Average):

  • African-American: 15%
  • Caucasian: 52%
  • Hispanic: 21%

“Black Panther:”

  • African-American: 37%
  • Caucasian: 35%
  • Hispanic: 18%

For those of you who need a visual:

'Black Panther' Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

‘Black Panther’ Audience Make-Up by Demographic (Quartz)

Check that out!! The percentage of African-Americans seeing “Blank Panther” was more than double that of the average superhero movie.

The Typical Superhero numbers were pulled from a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Theatrical Market Statistics report from 2016. “Black Panther” numbers came from audience tracking platform comScore.


Typical Superhero Movie’s Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 60-65%
  • Female: 35-40%

“Black Panther” Opening Weekend:

  • Male: 55%
  • Female: 45%

This is big too! More women wanted to see “Black Panther” on opening weekend than the usual superhero fare. One explanation is that the movie positions many strong, dynamic female characters front and center: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

There you have it, folks: Hard data on the fact that representation matters in media. If you represent inclusivity in your movie, you’ll give a more inclusive audience. And that will translate to bigger bank.

“Black Panther” Has the Biggest President’s Day Box Office with $40.2M

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

The highly-anticipated Marvel movie “Black Panther” opened last Thursday night, and has already broken records.

“Black Panther” made $40.2M on President’s Day, making it the biggest Monday ever. The record was previously held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2016, which made $40.1M.

“Black Panther” also made the second-most amount of money in its first four days of opening with $241.6M. The movie now holds the record for the biggest President’s Day weekend opening, “Deadpool” was the previous recordholder, making $152M in 2016. The only movie that made more within its first four days was (you guessed it) “The Force Awakens, which made $288.1M.

Among movie theater chain AMC, the movie became the highest-grossing title in the chain’s history for 80 theaters, which accounts for over 10% of the chain’s theaters. The movie opened in 661 theaters.

Worldwide, “Black Panther” made $426.6M. The movie has yet to open in China, Japan and Russia.