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13th Mar 2018

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s company to add inclusion riders to future projects

Keeley Ryan

The news was announced this week.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are going to be implementing inclusion riders at their producing company, Pearl Street Films.

The duo, who founded the company in 2012, are following in the footsteps of Michael B. Jordan, who pledged to adopt inclusion riders at his production company following Frances McDormand’s Best Actress speech at the Academy Awards.

The term refers to a clause that can be written into an actor’s contract, requiring “at least 50% diversity, not only in casting but also [in] the crew.”

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, the head of strategic outreach at Pearl Street Films, confirmed the news as he tweeted thanks to Michael B Jordan for making the first move.

She said:

“Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry.

“On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward.”

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who created the movement, said that Cox DiGiovanni had been a “champion, advocate and co-creator” of the inclusion rider since February 2016.

They tweeted:

“Franssen’s leadership in developing and rolling out the inclusion rider began the first day we met in February 2016.

“She has been a champion, advocate and co-creator of the rider and we’re thrilled that Pearl Street Films is adopting and countering on screen and behind the camera bias with this tool.”

Frances McDormand brought up the term in her Best Actress acceptance speech at the Oscars, where she called for greater equality in the film industry.

The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star also took the chance to shine a light on the little-known term, inclusion rider.

She said:

“We all have stories to tell and we need finance.

“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 – and we’ll tell you all about them.

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

As she later explained backstage, the term means “that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity, not only in casting but also [in] the crew.”