'INCLUSION rider'.

These are the two words that stopped Hollywood when Best Actress winner Frances McDormand used them in her acceptance speech at the Oscars.

"Look around everybody - look around, ladies and gentlemen because we all have stories to tell and projects we need to be financed," McDormand said, as she collected her Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

"Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best," she said.

"And we'll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider." So what is an "inclusion rider"?

Frances McDormand used her speech to call for more diversity in Hollywood casting. Picture: AFP
Frances McDormand used her speech to call for more diversity in Hollywood casting. Picture: AFP

An "inclusion rider" is a legal terminology that Hollywood stars can have written into their contracts, to request "more diverse representation in background actors and extras", according to Fast Company.

The concept was initiated in 2016 by lawyers Kalpana Kotogal and Stacy Smith of the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

"What we've tried to do is to create a process that enables the development of a really diverse pool," Kotogal said, according to fastcompany.com.

She dramatically placed her Oscar on the ground while she made a statement about female empowerment. Picture: AFP
She dramatically placed her Oscar on the ground while she made a statement about female empowerment. Picture: AFP

"And so we say in this rider that for all of the smaller roles on screen, not the roles that might impact financing of the project, but for the policeman, the teacher, the plumber, the guy who comes to fix the house, there's no reason that any of those should be cast with a particular stereotype in mind."

If a movie studio fails to adhere to an "inclusion rider" on a production, it could be in breach of contract, Fast Company reports.

So it's a way for Hollywood stars to ensure a diverse representation of actors are cast in their films.

"There's no question that Hollywood has had a problem for a long time both in terms of who is seen on screen and who drives the making of films behind the scenes," Kotogal told Fast Company.

"And so we wanted to figure out a relatively straightforward easy solution for those who wanted to use their bargaining power to help drive that change could use," Kotogal said.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri star McDormand dramatically placed her Oscar on the stage to deliver her speech, where she asked each Oscar-nominated woman in the room to stand up.

"I'm hyperventilating a little bit - if I fall over pick me up, because I've got some things to say," McDormand told the star-studded audience.

"If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight, the actors - Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will, c'mon - the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the songwriters, the designers. C'mon!"


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