To be more accurate there is no word yet on whether Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will be adding inclusion riders to any future production deals, but the die has been cast as the saying goes, now we just need to wait and see how it lands. If you’re wondering what an inclusion rider is the answer is fairly simple but has far-reaching implications that might take some time to really iron out throughout Hollywood. The inclusion rider is a stipulation that an actor or a production company can bring forth to insure that there is a certain level of diversity among the cast and crew of a production. In other words it’s making sure that each production is diverse enough to satisfy those working on it and allows equal opportunity for those that attempt to make the cut, be it cast or crew. So basically it’s trying to give everyone a fair shake when it comes to just about anything that has to do with a production.
That’s great in one aspect as it means that if there are qualified individuals of all races, colors, creeds, and genders that they can be given a fair shot and representation so that they might be able to finally tell their story or live out their dream. It’s something that can insure that there won’t be films that are dominated by one specific gender or color any longer. However it’s not that great if a story calls for a specific cast and an inclusion rider makes it necessary to add in those that don’t necessarily fit into the story. There are so many stories to be told in Hollywood and so many that need to be financed that the inclusion rider should not always be necessary to tell the truth. Plus, if almost feels like affirmative action at this point since it does take into account just who is capable of taking on such roles within the cast and crew.
Wanting to be a part of a production is great, it’s an admirable trait, but without the education or the experience it becomes less about discrimination and more about a lack of proper training. A production wouldn’t hire an actor that has no formal training and couldn’t act to save their lives unless they had something in mind that could utilize such a lack of skill. A crew member wouldn’t be hired unless they know something about what they’re going to be asked to do. This is why an inclusion rider is too much like affirmative action for comfort, as it will allow those that use it to demand more diversity in productions but not necessarily select the type of folks that are the best at what they do. At this point it really seems like merit for being skilled at one’s job is starting to matter less than the desire to simply want something.
Wanting it is great, but wanting it without doing the work and gaining the necessary experience and skill just doesn’t cut it.