At Sunday night’s Oscars, Frances McDormand won the Academy Award for best actress for her performance in the much-discussed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Though the movie itself is more than a tad controversial, McDormand’s speech was a resounding call for diversity and equality in the wake of the initial wave of support for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements that have been rocking Hollywood from top to bottom.
During her speech, McDormand asked every woman who was nominated for an award that night to stand, singling out Meryl Streep in particular, hoping she’d inspire the other women in the audience to follow along — and she did.
“We all have stories to tell and projects that need financing,” McDormand said.
McDormand ended her speech by urging those in the room to add a certain something to their contracts — an “inclusion rider.” If that left you scratching your head, here’s the skinny: A rider is a clause in an actor’s contract that stipulates a certain condition be met. An inclusion rider specifically can stipulate that a film’s cast and crew be filled by a certain percentage of nonwhite, nonmale people, for example.
Essentially, McDormand used her entire platform at the Oscars to advocate that other actors use their positions of power to make the film industry more inclusive. Ideally, McDormand would’ve had such a platform for a movie that wasn’t so mired in controversy — but she undeniably made the best of her moment.
After McDorman’s speech, host Jimmy Kimmel seemed taken aback. “I hope Frances McDormand wins an Emmy for that speech she just gave,” he said. Same, Jimmy. Same.