Just a few days after Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand introduced Hollywood to the previously niche idea of inclusion riders, Michael B. Jordan is pledging his support for the contract addendum.
Jordan on Wednesday announced in an Instagram post that his company, Outlier Society, will be adopting inclusion riders, or contract addendums that requires studios to hire a diverse crew and/or cast on a particular project.
“In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society,” Jordan wrote. “I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward. If you want to learn more about how to support the cause – link in bio.”
Jordan’s Outlier Society was launched in 2016 with a multiyear first-look deal with Skydance Media. Outlier Society is currently working on the sci-fi hourlong series Raising Dion, which has a straight-to-series order from Netflix; an untitled series for OWN; and a reboot of The Thomas Crown Affair starring Jordan, among other projects. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Jordan for comment.
It’s still to be determined which projects the forthcoming inclusion riders will apply to, and what the riders will specify as their benchmark for diversity. Outlier Society’s Raising Dion and the OWN series have already been staffed but are “diverse,” according to sources.
While Stacy Smith, director of USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, first introduced the idea of the inclusion rider in a 2014 guest column for THR, McDormand popularized the idea during her acceptance speech at the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday.
“Okay, look around everybody. Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said. “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, whatever 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.”
Endeavor Content has already adopted the addendum as a “best practice” with its projects. Companies that Endeavor Content has invested in, including Good Films, Made Up Stories and 51 Entertainment, have also adopted the inclusion rider.
While some pundits expect that if studios adopt inclusion riders they will soften the language, others are more optimistic. Endeavor Content co-president Graham Taylor told THR, “Just as consumers are increasingly interested in where their food is from, they are becoming increasingly interested in how their content is created and the values behind it.”
Jordan’s Instagram post — in which he is shown with Outlier Society’s head of production Alana Mayo and his WME agent, Phil Sun, who are both on the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative board — is below.
In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society. I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career & it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward. If you want to learn more about how to support the cause – link in bio. #OutlierSociety #AnnenbergInclusionInitiative
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