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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International Women’s Day 2018: By The Numbers

International Women's Day 2018 (Code Pink)

International Women’s Day 2018 (Code Pink)

Today is International Women’s Day! Here are some fun facts appropriate for the day (and for the purposes of this blog) to dazzle your friends, with sources hyperlinked:

  • “Women love sex just as much as men. In a recent survey, three quarters of the females polled said they wanted to romp at least three times a week.”
  • Women now make up over half of college graduates at 58%. And it’s had an effect: “This increased percentage of educated women has been directly tied to economic growth worldwide — and faster economic growth at that.”
  • Curious about how the wage gap‘s looking? “In 2016, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid.”
  • 80% of women directors made only 1 film between 2007 to 2016.
  • Only 17% of start-ups had a female founder in 2017.
  • This year’s theme is “#pressforprogress — a push for gender parity nationwide.”

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots more interesting facts out there. Now go out and spread the word that change needs to happen!!

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.