The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.
Actress Frances McDormand made a powerful statement during her Oscars 2018 acceptance speech for Best Actress on Sunday night. The star of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri started her speech by saying she was "hyperventilating," and added, "If I fall over, pick me up, 'cause I've got some things to say."
After thanking her family and those involved in the film, McDormand placed her Oscar on the ground. "And now, I want to get some perspective," she said. "If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight."
The nominated women did as she asked, as the room erupted in applause. "Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed," McDormand said. It was an especially meaningful moment in light of the recent Time's Up movement to fight for equality in Hollywood, as well Rachel Morrison's history-making nomination for cinematography.
McDormand ended her speech with two words that had social media buzzing: "inclusion rider." As the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative explained on Twitter, the term refers to a clause in an actor's contract demanding diversity in supporting roles. According to ABC News, the group's founder, USC professor Stacy Smith, spoke about the concept in a 2016 TED Talk.
"An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live," Smith said in her talk. "Now, there's no reason why a network, a studio or a production company cannot adopt the same contractual language in their negotiation processes."
"I just found out about this last week," McDormand told reporters after her win. "And so the fact that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business ... we're not going back."