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Frances McDormand Explains the Meaning of ‘Inclusion Rider’ After Her Oscars Win

Frances McDormand accepts Best Actress for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. ABC/Craig Sjodin

“I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentleman: inclusion rider.”

That was how Frances McDormand concluded her powerful Oscars speech on Sunday, March 4, at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre.

The 60-year-old, who won Best Actress for her leading role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, explained what an inclusion rider is when she appeared in the press room backstage.

“I just found out about this last week,” began McDormand. “There has always been available, to everybody that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider, which means that you can ask for and or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting but also the crew.”

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“And so the fact that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business . . . we’re not going back,” she continued. “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.”

Comedian Whitney Cummings is in full agreement. Later that night, she tweeted: “An inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can’t find a reason to, here’s one: it will make movies better.”

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McDormand beat Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water, Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird and Meryl Streep for The Post.

McDormand invited all the female nominees in every category to stand during her acceptance speech. “Meryl, if you do it every else will, come on,” McDormand said. The camera immediately cut to Streep on her feet. “The filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers.”

Emma Stone took home the Best Actress trophy for La La Land last year.

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