Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Production Company to Adopt Inclusion Riders

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni tweeted that Pearl Street Films will implement inclusion riders for all future projects

By Elyse Dupre Mar 13, 2018 12:00 PMTags
Ben Affleck, Matt DamonEric Charbonneau/Invision for Warner Bros./AP Images

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's production company Pearl Street Films is adopting inclusion riders. 

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni—the head of strategic outreach for the company—tweeted the news on Monday. The news came shortly after Michael B. Jordan pledged to adopt inclusion riders for all future projects produced by his company Outlier Society.

"@michaelb4jordan Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry," she tweeted. "On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @benaffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward."

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, of which Cox DiGiovanni is a board member, also tweeted the news. The organization has been leading the promotion of and research behind equality and diversity in the entertainment industry.

According to the organization, an inclusion rider is a clause celebrities can include in their contracts to stipulate inclusion among the cast and crew. This rider demands that women, people of color, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and people of other marginalized groups are represented. 

Frances McDormand called for more inclusion riders during her Best Actress in a Leading Role acceptance speech at the 2018 Oscars. However, the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star isn't the first one to introduce this concept. Stacy L. Smith, an associate professor of communication at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, proposed the idea in a 2014 article for The Hollywood Reporter and talked about the concept again in a 2016 TED Talk.

Both Affleck and Damon have worked with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who's been accused of sexual harassment, rape and assault. Weinstein has denied all claims of non-consensual sex. In October, Affleck said the allegations against Weinstein made him "angry" and "sick." However, just hours later, he was accused of groping Hilarie Burton during a 2003 taping of MTV's TRL. Affleck acknowledged he "acted inappropriately" toward Burton and apologized. 

Damon has also received backlash for comments he's made about the sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood. Damon apologized for his comments earlier this year.