Academy Award winners and producing partners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are adopting an inclusion rider in their Pearl Street Films contracts, in an effort to promote more racial and gender equality in Hollywood.
Actress-educator Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, a childhood friend of the duo, who are coproducing her one-woman stage show, “One Drop of Love,” tweeted the announcement Monday from the annual South by Southwest Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas. “On behalf of Pearl Street Films,” she wrote, “Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, [Pearl Street president] Jennifer Todd, [executive vice president of production] Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward.”
Her tweet also thanked “Black Panther” actor Michael B. Jordan — who announced on March 7 that his production company, Outlier Society, was adopting such a rider — “for always supporting broader representation in the industry.”
An inclusion rider is a contract provision that compels producers to try to hire minorities, women and LGBTQ personnel in order to promote diversity. The term reached wide public consciousness earlier this month at the 90th Academy Awards, when best-actress winner Frances McDormand noted it in her acceptance speech.
Affleck — who won a best picture Oscar as a producer of “Argo” (2012) and shared an original-screenplay Oscar with Damon for writing “Good Will Hunting” (1997) — has not commented publicly. Damon, who has no social-media accounts, also has not commented.
The Warner Bros.-based Pearl Street has produced films including “Manchester by the Sea,” “Jason Bourne” and “Live by Night” (all 2016), with “The Batman” upcoming.
Additionally, filmmaker Paul Feig tweeted Tuesday that his company Feigco, which has produced movies including his “Spy” (2015) and “Ghostbusters (2016), “is officially adopting an #inclusionrider for all our film and TV productions moving forward. Thank you to @Inclusionists and Stacy L. Smith for their guidance and inspiration. We challenge other companies and studios to do the same.”