Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck Become Next Stars to Formally Adopt Inclusion Riders

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck Become Next Stars to Formally Adopt Inclusion Riders

Paul Feig is the latest filmmaker to adopt an inclusion rider for his projects that are set to be produced under his banner, Feigco Entertainment.

Pearl Street Films has been working toward addressing the crisis of representation in the entertainment industry with Annenberg's guidance for almost two years after Damon and his show "Project Greenlight" became embroiled a controversy over the show's choice to spotlight a film by a white, male director.

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On Monday, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's production partner Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni announced they - along with Jennifer Todd and Drew Vinton - would be adopting inclusion riders for all future production deals at Pearl Street company. The move came a week after actress Frances McDorrmand sparked interest and support for the term after she concluded her Oscars best actress acceptance speech by saying, "I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider".

USC Annenberg's Stacy Smith proposed inclusion riders in a column at The Hollywood Reporter in 2014.

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The heightened interest in inclusion also follows the #MeToo movement, Time's Up initiative and the success of films with diverse casts and crews, such as "Get Out" and "Black Panther". During the production, he clashed with producer Effie Brown in a conversation that was perceived to be racially insensitive.

An inclusion rider is meant to improve gender and racial diversity within films.

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Affleck - who won a best picture Oscar as a producer of "Argo" (2015) and shared an original-screenplay Oscar with Damon for writing "Good Will Hunting" (1997) - has not commented publicly. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said last week that his company is, "Trying to do things creatively" and not just through "agreements", USA Today reported.

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