Film Forward

With An Instagram Post, Michael B. Jordan Made A Promise To Improve Diversity In Hollywood

Two words: "inclusion rider."

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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.

When he isn't making teens break their retainer in half at the mere sight of his abs, Michael B. Jordan is busy being the role model we all deserve and standing up for something important to him: diversity in Hollywood.

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Just days after Frances McDormand's impassioned Best Actress acceptance speech at the 2018 Oscars made everyone Google "inclusion rider," Jordan has made a big promise. In an Instagram post, the Black Panther star vowed that Outlier Society, the production company he founded in 2016, would include inclusion riders in all of its projects.

"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," the 31-year-old wrote. "I've been privileged to work with powerful woman [sic] & persons of color throughout my career & it's Outlier's mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward."

For those unfamiliar with inclusion riders, it's best to get that answer from the source. The idea was first introduced by Stacy Smith of the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in 2014.

"The concept is that A-list actors can incorporate a clause in their contracts that stipulates that inclusion — both on camera and behind the scenes for crew members — be reflected in films," the organization explained in a post. "The rider states that women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of LGBT and marginalized communities who are traditionally underrepresented be depicted on screen in proportion to their representation in the population."

It's a great idea, and one that could help improve the state of women in front of the camera and behind the camera in addition to improving diversity in general — after all, that has been proven to pay off at the box office. With Jordan making this decree, it shows that action — not just talking about making things better — is needed.

According to The New York Times, Outlier Society has a few projects currently in development. There's Raising Dion, an upcoming Netflix series about a single mom raising a superhero that Jordan is acting in as well as executive producing, set for 2019. There's also a reboot of The Thomas Crown Affair. Then we have an adaptation of David Barclay Moore's book The Stars Beneath Our Feet, which will serve as Jordan's directorial debut.

Now, if you'll please excuse Jordan, he has more push-ups to do.

Cover image via DFree / Shutterstock

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