Go for it, Hollywood.
You probably didn't watch the Academy Awards -- most people didn't -- but you might have caught a bit of
Don't feel bad if you don't know what an inclusion rider is. McDormand didn't either until recently. She told the press backstage that she had only learned about inclusion riders the previous week.
So what are they?
Simply put, an inclusion rider is like any other rider in a contract for a big-name Hollywood star, except instead of demanding that you have an all-beige dressing room or an infinite supply of green M&M's in your trailer, you demand that the cast and/or crew be diverse according to some formula. Usually, that formula is based on the demographic makeup of the larger society.
And again, I say: Go for it, Hollywood.
I'm against racial or ethnic quotas for anything remotely smacking of a government position or anything that relies on government money. Just as government shouldn't give preference to certain religions, it shouldn't give preference to certain races or sexual orientations, either.
In principle, I think people should be able to hire whomever they want. Of course, that principle runs up against various civil rights laws banning racial discrimination in public accommodations. And given the historical circumstances that gave rise to those laws -- i.e., the Jim Crow South -- I think those laws are warranted, at least when they stay faithful to their original purpose.
But that's not the situation in
Let's be honest about what we're talking about though. An inclusion rider is just a "woke" way of demanding the ability to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, etc. The theory and motivation behind it might not be as evil as Jim Crow, but it's still discrimination at work.
And it is remarkably illiberal, at least when it comes to film crews. What you see on the screen is a matter of artistic vision. If you think a role calls for a black actor, then you're not being unfair to
Hollywood's various powerful unions will likely be quick to point this out. As
So why do I want Hollywood to go for it? Because Hollywood rarely practices what it preaches. We get lots of nice award ceremony speeches about the superior values of Hollywood and how evil big business and
Well, here's Hollywood's chance to put its money where its biggest mouths are. And not just the amorphous entity called Hollywood, but the individual actors and directors who just love to preen about their enlightened views. Let's see them prove they have the courage of their convictions.
Rosen is probably right that inclusion riders are ultimately an "unworkable quota system" that will eventually prove to be "another piece of empty Hollywood posturing." But let's see Hollywood try (and the media hold it accountable). Maybe we'll all learn something from the effort.