Michael B. Jordan wants to do his bit to make Hollywood a better place for casts and crews as he announces his company Outlier Society will be adopting inclusion riders.
The Black Panther star, who had many fans thirsting over his performance as supervillian Erik Killmonger, said on Wednesday that his production company will be taking on the contract addendums that requires studios to hire a diverse crew and/or cast on a particular project.
His announcement comes just days after Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand had somewhat of a mic drop moment when she challenged Hollywood to take on inclusion riders during her winners speech at the awards ceremony on Sunday.
Now the Creed star has taken to his Instagram page, with a photo of himself with Outlier Society’s head of production Alana Mayo and his WME agent, Phil Sun, to pledge his allegiance to the cause.
‘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,’ he wrote.
‘I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of colour 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.’
The 31-year-old launched his film and TV company in the fall of 2016 with a multiyear first-look deal with Skydance Media.
Outlier Society projects include the hourlong sci-fi family drama Raising Dion, which has a 10-episode straight-to-series order from Netflix, and The Thomas Crown Affair reboot that Jordan will star in. There is an untitled project with Tarell Alvin McCraney for OWN, and an adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel The Stars Beneath Our Feet, on which Jordan will make his directorial debut.
The Fruitvale Station actor is set to announce which of his forthcoming projects will adopt the inclusion riders.
The industry term has made its way to mainstream conversation since Frances’ speech after winning the best actress gong.
The concept was developed by Dr Stacy Smith, with a clause requiring the cast and crew to be diverse in order to retain the actor.
Rather than putting endless bowls of red M&Ms on their rider (the requests actors can put into their contracts), Dr Smith urged actors to use their rider to insist on diversity in their films.
That could include specific percentage targets both in front of and behind the camera, and could include gender and race diversity, as well as encouraging studios to hire more disabled people.
Insisting on better representation and diversity would help to do away with the unconscious bias Hollywood – and everyone – experiences.
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