Hollywood: The inclusion movement for diversity in film continues with Michael B. Jordan
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 3/8/2018, 10:37 a.m.
It wasn’t but about a year ago when many actors and actresses called for a boycott of Hollywood because of its lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera. But today, despite a political climate supported by a culturally insensitive President that seems to encourage hate toward people of color, members of Hollywood are pushing to make a diversity a priority. That’s true for people of color as well as women in general as well. Last weekend’s Oscars were charged with comments and calls for a renewed commitment to diversity, most notably from Oscar winner Frances McDormond6. Today, African American actor Michael B. Jordan has made his support known, by declaring that all of his projects through his production company – Outlier Society – would have an inclusion rider. “In support of the women and men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by Outlier Society,” he wrote on his Instagram. “I’ve been privileged to work with powerful women and persons of color throughout my career and it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward.” The “Black Panther” and “Creed” star then linked to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The Huffington Post reports that the initiative is led by Dr. Stacy Smith, who first publicly presented the inclusion rider as a solution to Hollywood’s dismal diversity problem in a 2014 op-ed in the Hollywood Reporter. Smith researches equality in film and television at the University of Southern California. The inclusion rider, Smith explains, is an opportunity for top actors to contractually demand that their projects reflect the world we actually live in by requiring diversity on screen and behind the camera. “We are thrilled that Michael B. Jordan has signed on to this effort and committed to the inclusion rider,” Smith said to the HuffPost. “He and the members of his team are true leaders. We hope other actors and content creators will follow their lead and make inclusion something that is embedded in all of their projects.” The inclusion rider became an item when Frances McDormand, who is white, concluded her speech during the Oscars with, “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.” Backstage, McDormand said, “The fact that we, that I, just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business ― it’s not, we’re not going back. So the whole idea of women trending, no. No trending. African-Americans trending, no. No trending. It changes now, and I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that. Right? Power in rules.”